American Archivist (Vol. 61, No.1 / Spring 1998)
Abstracts and Author Bios
The Society: From Birth to Maturity
Nicholas C. Burckel
The author takes a statistical "snapshot" of the Society of American Archivists
at three different periods in its history-each separated by twenty-five years-to
illustrate the continuity and changes that have occurred. For the years 1940,
1965, and 1990, the author examines the composition of the Society's membership,
its leadership, its scholarly journal, its annual meetings, and the perspective
of it presidents. The article concludes with some comparisons with allied professional
organizations, such as the American Library Association, the American Historical
Association, and the Organization of American Historians, placing the Society's
experience in a larger context. A briefer version of this article was delivered
28 August 1997 as the author's presidential address at the annual meeting of
the Society of American Archivists held in Chicago.
Nicholas C. Burckel is Dean of Libraries and Associate Professor of History
at Marquette University and a presidential appointee to the National Historical
Publications and Records Commission. Formerly he was Associate Dean of Libraries
at Washington University and adjunct Associate Professor in the University
of Missouri's School of Library and Information Science. He is a Fellow of
the Society of American Archivists and former president of the Midwest Archives
Conference and Regent of the Academy of Certified Archivists. He served as
a Council on Library Resources management intern of Certified Archivists. He
served as a Council on Library Resources management intern at the University
of Chicago and as a senior fellow at the Palmer School of Library and Information
Science. His books and articles deal with history, archives, and librarianship.
Providing Subject Access to Images: A Study of User Queries
This paper describes a study of user queries conducted at two historical photographic
collections-the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. Patron requests
were analyzed in order to determine which types of subject terms and attributes
of images are used most often in requests for photographs. Basic categories
of terms were created, and the number of requests utilizing each category of
term was tallied. It was found that subject terms, both generic and specific,
were used far more frequently than any other categories of terms in requests
for photographs. Generic subject terms appeared most often in requests, indicating
the importance of these terms for indexing. Time and place were the next most
commonly used types of terms. In contrast, genre, visual terms, format,
and creator/provenance were mentioned relatively infrequently.
Karen Collins is a reference librarian at North Carolina State University
in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has a bachelor of science degree in physics
and previously taught high school physics in Santa Barbara, California. Her
paper, for which she was awarded the 1997 Theodore Calvin Pease Award, was
written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master of science
degree in library science in library science at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill in March 1997.
Arthur Agarde, Elizabethan Archivist: His Contributions to the Evolution
of Archival Practice
In his various capacities as deputy chamberlain of the Exchequer, antiquary,
scholar, and writer, Arthur Agarde (1540-1615) played an integral role in Elizbethan
society-a society in which recordkeeping activities and use certainly reflected
the political climate. The rise of England as a nation-state not only created
a spirit of insular nationalism but also engendered political, religious, and
legal controversies. During this era, antiquarian scholars increasingly consulted
Britain's vast accumulation of documents to research the past and help settle
the debates. This dramatic growth in the use of historical records pointed
out the need for improved recordkeeping procedures. An examination of Agarde's
life and career reveals his contributions to an evolving archival practice,
especially in description, arrangement, and preservation.
Maggie Yax is the Albert B. Sabin Archivist at the Cincinnati Medical Heritage
Center of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Libraries. She holds
an M.L.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and a B.A. in
journalism from Michigan State University. Her interest in special collections
and archives began even before she earned her M.L.S., and inspired her to write
articles on such diverse topics as artists' books and the history of medicine
collections. She also researched, organized, and installed an exhibit at the
University of Illinois entitled Five Centuries of Women Book Artists: Printers
and Engravers, 1478-1984.
Information Resource Management in the Electronic Workplace:
A Personal Perspective On "Archives in the Information Society"
Richard M. Kesner
This article examines the general direction of information resources management
(IRM) and computer technology applications as they influence the workplace.
The author briefly explores the environmental characteristics of this new setting,
including the influence of the World Wide Web, changes in information network
design, and the emergence and widespread use of dynamically created, distributed,
and employed information resources. He establishes this frame of reference
to assess the implications of these changes for the roles and responsibilities
of the archivist to service the IRM needs of the highly automated organization
and its constituency of so-called "knowledge workers."
Richard M. Kesner currently serves as Vice President for Planning and New
Opportunity Development for New England Services, Inc., the servicing arm of
The New England, a major U.S. financial services company. Until recently, he
served as a coordinator of Babson College's reengineering efforts as well as
its Chief Information Officer. He was concurrently President and Senior Consultant
for RMK Associates, a management, strategic planning, and MIS consulting firm,
working with banks, insurance companies, professional and consulting organizations,
and a wide range of public institutions. Kesner holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from
Stanford University, and an A.B. and M.B. from Oberlin College.
Harnessing the Power of Warrant
Wendy M. Duff
Over the last decade a number of writers have encourage archivists to develop
strategies and tactics to redefine their role and insert themselves into the
process of designing recordkeeping systems. This paper urges archivists to
exploit the authority inherent in the laws, regulations, standards, and professional
best practices that dictate recordkeeping specifications to gain great acceptance
for the requirements for electronic evidence. Furthermore, it postulates that
this proactive approach could assist in gaining greater respect for the archival
Wendy M. Duff is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty
of Information Studies where she teaches classes in records management, electronic
records management, and archival description. While earning her Ph.D. from
the University of Pittsburgh, Duff was project coordinator for the University
of Pittsburgh Electronic Recordkeeping Project. Prior to receiving her doctorate,
Duff worked in archives and libraries for more than a decade. She has also
given many workshops and written numerous articles on various aspects of electronic
records and archival description.
Doing What's Possible With What We've Got: Using the World Wide Web to Integrate
This article explores one way of presenting archival information using the
World Wide Web. It shows how different kinds of archival descriptive information
resting in electronic formats in various legacy systems can be integrated and
presented in a single view/window using flexible, simple information technology
tools. It also presents to archivists the advantages of accessing integrated
archival information on more than one archival function to enhance the archivists's
conceptual knowledge of the record and records creators.
Jean-Stephen Piche graduated with a masters in history from the Universite
de Montreal in 1992. Since 1990 he has been a government records archivist
at the National archives of Canada. He has published in Archivaria and Les
actes du XX1e congres de l'association des archiviste du Quebec. This article
builds upon previous presentations at ASIS (1995), ACA (1996), and the AAQ
(1997) and also summarizes an Intranet pilot project the author unertook at
the National Archives in 1996-1997.
CSS Alabama Digital Collection: A Special Collections Digitization
Andrea Watson, with P. Toby Graham
In today's high-tech information environment, archivists and special collections
librarians can use technology to enable the informational contents of rare
and unique materials to transcend their physical boundaries. To explore this
possibility, a team in the William Stanley Holle Special Collections Library
at the University of Alabama sought to create access via to the Internet to
a small set of the Hoole Library's materials relevant to the famous
Confederate raider, the CSS Alabama. The creation of the CSS Alabama Digital
Collection served as a learning experience for the staff in the digital
imaging of a wide variety of special collections materials and resulted in
an electronic learning resource for students of all ages. To date, the website
has logged over three thousand hits and has evoked highly positive responses
from users, proving that the World Wide Web is an effective access medium for
special collection materials.
Andrea Watson was special collections librarian for reference services in
the William Stanley Hoole Special Collection Library at the University of Alabama
at the time this article was written. She has since retired and is currently
working as a freelance artists and image researcher.
P. Toby Graham is special collections librarian at the University of Southern
Mississippi. He received his Ph.D. in library and information studies at the
University of Alabama in May. He earned master's degrees in history and library
service at the University of Alabama and a bachelor's degree in social sciences
at James Madison University.
An Exploration of K-12 User Needs for Digital Primary Sources Materials
Anne J. Gilliland-Swetland
With the rapid development of the global information infrastructure and networked
multimedia systems, is it possible to make access to archival materials and
their descriptions truly virtual, to make their use more diverse, and user
interaction more effective? Part I of this article examines trends in K-12
pedagogical and curricular innovation that are leading to increased integration
of primary sources, facilitated by new learning technologies, into the classroom.
In Part II, the author argues that what is required is a conscious approach
to the selection, representation, and presentation of digitized and digital
archival materials, informed by sound empirical knowledge of the needs of targeted
user groups. In Part III of this article, the author reports on research underway
at UCLA exploring the needs of K-12 teachers and students, both for locating
and using primary source materials, and for incorporating those materials into
learning systems design. The author also speculates on the potential of Encoded
Archival Description to provide the descriptive infrastructure for a multimedia
archival information system that would address some of the needs identified
for K-12 users.
Anne J. Gilliland-Swetland is an assistant professor in the University of
California, Los Angeles Department of Library and Information Science. She
has a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and is currently serving on the
Council of Society of American Archivists.
Special Collections Repositories at Association of Research Libraries Institutions:
A Study of Current Practices in Preservation Management
Tyler O. Walters, in association with Ivan E. Hanthorn
This article reports and interprets data collected from a 1995 survey of special
collections repositories at Association of Research Libraries institutions.
It covers part one of the survey-current practices in preservation management.
One hundred thirteen institutions represented by 170 archives/manuscripts repositories
were asked to participate, of which 143 institutions, or 84.1%, did so. This
is the second largest sample of archives' preservation activities ever gathered
in the United States. The goals of the study were, first, to create a base
of data on the development of archival preservation programs in research institutions
and interpret that data and, second, to understand the extent to which the
archives and library preservation departments interact in their common mission
to ensure the availability of research materials to present and future generations.
The study is unique in its investigation of the interrelationships between
the archival repository's and the library's operational functions. This article
recognizes that there is potential for a certain amount of preservation program
development and integration between libraries and archives.
Tyler O. Walters is Head, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University
Library, Ames, Iowa. He holds an M.A. in archival management from North Carolina
State University. He is also the chair of the SAA Preservation Section.
Preservation Re-Recording of Audio Recordings in Archives: Problems, Priorities,
Technologies, and Recommendations
Christoper Ann Paton
This article offers a context for examining archival audio holdings, determining
preservation needs and priorities, and planning audio re-recording (reformatting)
projects. It addresses such issues as identification of the most vulnerable
recording types, the meaning of "preservation re-recording," and the skills,
equipment, and personnel that are necessary for working with older recordings.
The information provided is drawn in part from the experiences of archivists
at Georgia State University during a in-house archival audio re-recording project
funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Christopher Ann Paton is Archivist of the Popular Music Collection in the
Pullen Library Special Collections Department at Georgia State University,
where she oversees a collection that includes approximately sixty thousand
commercial and noncommercial disc and tape recordings.
Review Essay: Going Postal
Peter J. Wosh
Peter J. Wosh has been director of the archives program in the history department
at New York University since 1994. Prior to that he served as director of archives
and library services at the American Bible Society, and archivist for Seton
Hall University with responsibility for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark