Are We Losing History? Capturing Archival Records for a New Era of Research

AHA Session 1
Friday, January 2, 2015: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Clinton Suite (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Megan Phillips, National Archives and Records Administration
Matthew Connelly, London School of Economics
Robert E. Lee, East View Information Services, Inc.
Derek R. Peterson, University of Michigan
Paul Wester, National Archives and Records Administration

Session Abstract

The archival profession split off from its parent historical profession in 1936, when it formed its own professional organization, the Society of American Archivists. Since then, archivists have developed philosophies and methods of their own for selecting records with potential historical value for their archives, but many historians have little insight into the archival discipline’s practices or how particular records and not others come into the archives. 

 This roundtable will bring the historical and archival professions back together to discuss questions such as: How do archivists choose what comes to the archives for historians to find and use? How do historians influence this process? Are the results working well for historians now? Are archives collecting the right material for the future?

 This session will encourage discussion between historians and archivists about the philosophy and practice of appraisal and selection of material for the archives, and will provide practical information for attendees about how they can collaborate with their colleagues in closely related discipline to get the most valuable records into the archives.

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