ARST 5500 January 30, 2013 Class Discussion


  1. Two articles discuss Jenkinson’s four characteristics of archives (impartiality, authenticity, naturalness, interrelationship of records). Do like these characteristics? What was the core disagreement between Duranti and Boles/Greene over these?
  2. In selection of records, who is more important to consider the records creator or the research that might use them? (Tshan)
  3. What are your thoughts on Duranti’s vision of archival theory? (Duranti, 342-343)
  4. Did you think that Duranti fairly assessed the pricinples of both Jenkinson and Schellenberg? Do you think Boles and Greene fairly assess the argument of Duranti?
  5. Boles and Greene call the archvial profession an applied profession. Is archives an applied discipline? Is utility of records the most important idea?
  6. Is it wise to be judicial in pruning? (Boles)
  7. Are we the keepers of the Orwellian Memory Hole(Samuels quotes Orwell in her opening)? What is the power of this memory hole? (Samuels)
  8. Do you think that a documentation strategy as defined by Samuels is an effective method for collection archival records? (Samuels)
  9. Samuels emphasizes collaboration among archives to ensure topics are documented completely. Is this something that we can do? What might inhibit archives from collaborating with one another? (Samuels)

Survey Responses

Works Discussed:

  • Maher, William J.   “Lost in a Disneyfied World: Archivists and Society in Later Twentieth-Century America.” American Archivist 61 (Fall 1998), p. 259-265
  • LaBerge, Danielle.  “Information, Knowledge, and Rights: The Preservation of Archives as a Political and Social Issue,” Archivaria 25 (Winter 1987-1988), p. 44-50.
  • Tshan, Reto.  “A Comparison of Jenkinson and Schellenberg on Appraisal,” American Archivist 65:1 (Fall/Winter 2002), p. 176-195.
  • Boles, Frank.  “Why Archivists Select,” in Archival Appraisal (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005).
  • Helen Willa Samuels, “Who Controls the Past,” American Archivist 49 (spring 1986): 109-24.
  • Boles, Frank, and Mark A. Greene.  “Et Tu Schellenberg?,” American Archivist 59:3 (Summer 1996). 
  • Duranti, Luciana.  “The Concept of Appraisal and Archival Theory,” American Archivist 57:2 (Spring 1994), p. 328-344


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