Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome To Weekend With Shades - Saturday



SAVING FACE
BY REBECCA FENNING
A Monthly - Weekend With Shades - Column





I hate the word "archiving." I really do. Why? Well, because I may be the only archivist to feel this way, but I think it's misleading. I feel as if the "archiving" of things like email have made archive-related verbs into buzzwords that get a lot of use, distorting our understanding of what archives curated by librarians and archivists actually are and how they are created.

So this is why in my inaugural column for Weekend with Shades, I'd like to explain what it is I actually do as an archivist and librarian, because this can be unfamiliar to even the most highly educated, library-frequenting of us. Indeed, most people I know who aren't information professionals themselves (that is to say, librarians or archivists or records managers) have no idea what I do -- and that includes my boyfriend, my mom, my sister, my best friends and pretty much everyone else I know. I hope that my quick walk-through of basic archival activities will give you a better sense of how archivists and archives work and a better notion of the questions I can help you to answer.


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