The established archives: a bibliometric overview of archival research

Abstract

Archives have a long history of working ‘behind the scenes’, fulfilling document preservationpurposes for organizations such as librariesand government organizations (Jenkinson, 1922, Schellenberg, 1956).The concept of archive was historically understood to be passively engaged with documentation and preservation processes that are integral to the profession (Harris, 2002). Wick (2017) describes the archival field as emerging from the status of “professional custodian” (p.15) to a more interactive and accessible space. Despite and increased visibility in recent decades, the fields isolation from other disciplines has been widely criticized (Caswell et al., 2016, McKemmish & Piggott, 2013); researchers have noted that the field of archives has been a “failure of interdisciplinary”study (Caswell, 2016, p.2), even in closely related disciplines like the humanities. Archivists used to be trained “primarily in history departments” (Caswell, 2016, p.3), and have had public ties to libraries, government, and museums. Predominant understandings of the core valuesand goals of the field havechanged, and the fieldincreasingly acknowledges inherent biases in archival communities and within archival practice, as well as the intricacies of defining information as evidence versus memory (Caswell et al., 2016, Cook, 2013, Sutherland, 2017). Through this scholarship,the field of archival studiescontinuesto distinguishitselffrom the fields of history, museum studies,and the wider LIS field.This work-in-progress paper uses bibliometrics to map the structure of the archival fieldsand investigate its relationshipto scholarship from other disciplines.

Publication
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of CAIS / Actes du congrès annuel de l’ACSI
Kendell Fitzgerald
Kendell Fitzgerald
Research Assistant
Grace Bourret
Grace Bourret
Research Assistant
Jordan Audas
Jordan Audas
Research Assistant
Lisa Olson
Lisa Olson
Research Assistant
Ana Roeschley
Ana Roeschley
Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Archival Studies at Louisiana State University
Philippe Mongeon
Philippe Mongeon
Assistant Professor, School of Information Management, Dalhousie University

I am an assistant professor at the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University, director of the Quantitative Science Studies Lab, and associate member of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST).