ARCHIVES 2015 has ended
Tuesday, August 18 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Research Forum Session 8: Archival Challenges and Progress - Evidence of Growth and Change in Archival Practice: 77 Years of the American Archivist

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The American Archivist (AA) is approaching 80 years of existence and is itself a portrait of the archives profession. Since Volume 1, Number 1 from January, 1938, the journal has provided quarterly – and since 1998 – semi-annual coverage of research, best practices, bibliography, and news of interest to the archival and library communities. It is not overly introspective to examine this publication’s history as a reflection of the profession – indeed, it is a primary source of evidence in its own right. The proposed short presentation will summarize a research project that will examine author characteristics and subject coverage in research articles of The American Archivist through Volume 77 (2014). While this presentation will present merely a snapshot of the period, the intent for the overall project to collect data for all quarterly issues (volumes 1-60) and semi-annual issues (volumes 61-77), including number of authors, author gender, author affiliation, author location, and subject. It is anticipated that this research will shed light on two major aspects of archives in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. First, professional and cultural changes may be reflected by changes in topics or perspectives. In the first decades, the journal focused more on issues related to the administration of archives and in specialized repositories than in later years. In more recent decades the publication has included a higher percentage of articles about archival education, intellectual property issues, digital technologies, and the social roles of archives. Secondly, changes in authorship patterns are expected to mirror cultural and professional changes in archival practice and research.

About the Author:

Thomas D. Walker has been a librarian and educator for more than twenty years. He has worked in public, academic, and special libraries. He has worked with two small archives in Illinois, but most of his energies have been focused on library and information science education. His M.A. in Library and Information Science is from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He currently teaches in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, specializing in the organization of information. He has edited issues of Library Trends, and published articles in Library Trends, The Library Quarterly, JASIST, Knowledge Organization, among others, and has also written many encyclopedia articles, book reviews, and other short publications and maintains a wiki, Celsus, about library architecture.


Tuesday August 18, 2015 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Room 26A Cleveland Convention Center, 300 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114

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