The legacy of Watergate

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Forty-five years ago today, five men were arrested while wiretapping phones and stealing documents from the offices of the Democratic National Committee, inside the Watergate complex of buildings.  This was actually not their first time breaking into these offices, but when the building’s security guard noticed the locks on several doors had been taped over and called the police, he changed the future of the American presidency.  There is the obvious political consequence that played out over the next two years, culminating in the resignation of President Richard Nixon on August 8, 1974.

But there was also a records impact in this story.  Of course, Nixon fought against the release of the tapes that recorded conversations that took place in the Oval Office.  After the U.S. Supreme Court mandated in 1974 that he turn over the tapes, it was obvious Nixon could not survive the scandal.   After he left office, he negotiated an agreement with General Services Administrator Arthur Sampson to donate his papers to a presidential library, with the understanding that Nixon could destroy the White House tapes within ten years.  As a result of this, Congress passed the 1974 Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act, which required Nixon’s presidential materials to be kept in the Washington, DC, area.  In 2007, these records became a part of the National Archives system and were integrated into his presidential library.

Through the presidency of Jimmy Carter, the legal interpretation was that the records of the President belonged to the person, not the office.  The 1978 Presidential Records Act (PRA) changed the legal ownership of the official records of the President from private to public.  It also defined “Presidential records” as

“documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, created or received by the President, the President’s immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise or assist the President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President.”

This legislation went into effect for the Reagan and all subsequent administrations.  All previous presidents since Hoover — Nixon excepted — voluntarily donated their papers to their presidential library.

The 1978 PRA has been in the news recently with Congressman Mike Quigley’s proposal of the COVFEFE Act — Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement.  He has suggested that tweets from President Trump’s private Twitter account should be preserved as presidential records alongside those from the official @POTUS account.  What makes the PRA interesting is that it vests the President, not the Archivist of the United States, with the authority to determine which records are presidential records and which are personal records.  AOTUS David Ferriero laid out the practicalities of the PRA in his March 2017 response to queries from Senators McCaskill and Carper.

Stephen Skowronek: Presidential Leadership in Political Time

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Listening to Jon Meacham made me want to review Stephen Skowronek’s book that I read a number of years ago for a workshop.  Skowronek combined and revised five individually presented essays (written from the early 1980s to 2006) into this 2008 volume entitled Presidential Leadership in Political Time.  His basic thesis about political time reduces personality and style as secondary factors in defining a presidency and rather focuses the study of presidential leadership on “what its capacities are and how it operates in political circumstances variously configured” (xi).  While Presidents obviously exist in different historical times, Skowronek argues there are parallel moments in political time, which he defines as:

“the medium through which presidents encounter received commitments of ideology and interests and claim authority to intervene in their development.  Political time has a narrative structure.  Presidents bid for authority by reckoning with the work of their predecessors, locating their rise to power within the recent course of political events, and addressing the political expectations that attend their intervention in these affairs” (18).

Skowronek also explains in this first chapter of the book (“The Presidency in American Political Development: A Third Look”) that there have been numerous attempts to study the presidency in American political development:

  1. During the Progressive era around the turn of the 20th century, people looked to the presidency as the branch of the federal government best suited to serve the needs of the people.
  2. In the wake of the Vietnam War and the Watergate investigations, scholars began identifying the modern presidency as the “imperial presidency” (a phrase first used by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.).  This period of disillusionment swung the pendulum back to Congress as the body most capable of reining in excessive power and moving the democracy forward.
  3. Skowronek’s third look at the presidency takes this form:

“It attends to the peculiar ways in which the presidency operates politically, to the different sorts of political contests it sets up over time, and to their typical political effects.  It offers thereby some insight into the sequence of political change unfolding in our time” (5).

The third essay (“The Politics of Leadership at the End of the Twentieth Century”) provides an analysis of the structures of political authority.  Skowronek identified the political configurations of these structures based on whether the president is affiliated with or opposed to the “dominant ideological and programmatic commitments of the era” and whether the commitments of the regime at the time of the president’s rise to power are vulnerable or continue to hold out “credible solutions to the problems of the day” (85).

Among recent presidents, Skowronek identified Jimmy Carter for the politics of disjunction, Ronald Reagan for the politics of reconstruction, George H.W. Bush for the politics of articulation, and Bill Clinton for the politics of preemption.

  • Affiliation with a vulnerable regime leads to an “impossible leadership situation” because the president can neither repudiate nor embrace their political inheritance, thereby tending “to plunge the nation deep into a crisis of political legitimacy” (90).
  • Candidates who oppose vulnerable incumbents set themselves up for what Skowronek identifies as “the situation that has traditionally proven the most favorable to political mastery in the American presidency” (93).  These are the great repudiators.
  • Presidents who come to power affiliated with a resilient regime tend to become orthodox innovators, “pledged to continue work on an agenda that was his rightful inheritance” (99).
  • Preemptive leaders “are far less beholden to their political allies than are orthodox innovators or late-regime affiliates, far less constrained by standards of doctrinal purity or by the expectation of acting in ways consistent with established part priorities.  What sets preemptive leadership apart is just this: It is not designed to establish, uphold, or salvage any political orthodoxy; it is an unabashedly mongrel vision, an aggressive critique of the prevailing categories and a bold bid to mix then up” (106).




Jon Meacham: What History Tells Us About the Future

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I had the opportunity this week to hear Jon Meacham deliver a lecture at the North Carolina Museum of History.  He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Andrew Jackson, and he has also profiled FDR and Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, and George Herbert Walker Bush.

In his lecture, Meacham identified four characteristics of great political leaders:

  • Curiosity.  He pointed to presidents such as FDR, JFK, and Jefferson as avid readers and intellectually curious leaders.  Look no further than Jefferson’s study of Enlightenment thought and its incorporation into American political life.
  • Candor.  He looked to the Great Depression and World War Two for leaders who were willing to talk to their constituents about the gravity of the situation without sugar-coating it.  FDR referred to it as shooting straight-from-the-shoulder, and Churchill certainly followed this pattern in handling the devastation of attacks on the British Isles.
  • Humility.  Great leaders have the ability to admit their mistakes and learn from them — despite the “ambient narcissism” that is a part of the political process.  Meacham pointed to JFK, who after the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs contacted Eisenhower for guidance and by following his advice charted a positive end to the subsequent Cuban missile crisis.
  • Empathy.  Meacham argued that empathy doesn’t have to be the Bill Clinton “I feel your pain” kind of understanding.  He explained George H.W. Bush demonstrated empathy at the end of the Cold War by not using the collapse of the Berlin Wall as a photo opportunity that would help him politically while also being quite damaging to Mikhail Gorbachev, who was in a tenuous position with the hardliners in the Communist party.

Ultimately, Meacham believes that “character is destiny.”  But that’s not to say he prefers studying only great people — instead, he suggested we can learn more from the sinners than the saints.  His closing words of hope were, “We can move forward.”  He reflected on the founding of our nation by flawed people — many of whom were slaveowners, for instance — but yet they came together to form a more perfect union.  To those who might question his highlighting of flaws, he countered that overly romanticizing the past actually does an injustice to those you mean to lionize.

Meacham explained his tests for determining the worth of studying a particular subject:

  • Is there a hole in the popular conversation about this person?
  • Is there a scholarly argument to make?
  • Are there new materials to be studied?  (Here’s how archivists can help the Meachams of the world!)

Meacham referenced the open letter he wrote to President Trump before his visit to the Hermitage in March.  Because Trump is fond of likening his leadership to that of Jackson, Meacham pointed out some of his traits that Trump would be wise to emulate:

  • Jackson valued the advice of people with experience in governmental and military affairs.
  • Despite his dislike of elements of the national government (e.g., the Second National Bank), Jackson believed our democratic system had to be preserved at all costs.  This meant both compromising on certain issues and also directly courting the understanding and support of his most ardent opposition (the nullifiers in South Carolina).

In his talk, Meacham also explained that Jackson always fired the second shot — never being the one to begin an attack and instead being in a perfect position to respond.  Jackson also understood his own vices (see humility above).


Don’t forget about Clay

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For some reason this week I feel compelled to turn to the pages of history.  While some have suggested that Andrew Jackson was the key to preventing the American Civil War, I would like to throw the name of his contemporary Henry Clay into the ring.  Clay spent decades in service to the federal government in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and as Secretary of State under President John Quincy Adams.  He earned the nickname of the Great Compromiser due to his involvement with three agreements that postponed the Civil War:

  • Missouri Compromise: brought Maine into the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state, with the rest of the Louisiana Territory below the 36°30′ line open to slavery
  • Compromise of 1833: resolved the nullification crisis begun when South Carolina defied the federal tariff by gradually reducing the tariff rates to prevent its secession
  • Compromise of 1850: adeptly ushered a set of 5 bills through Congress by breaking up the omnibus bill and instead getting each section to vote in favor of the elements they supported, thereby getting the entire package enacted:
    • California entered the Union as a free state
    • established popular sovereignty for the remaining territory won during the Mexican War, meaning the residents would be able to determine whether the territories would practice slavery
    • the slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia
    • resolved the borders of Texas and the federal government took over its debt
    • enacted a more stringent Fugitive Slave Act to counteract the work of abolitionists who had been helping slaves escape to the North

In his February 5-6 speeches to garner support for the Compromise of 1850, Clay concluded with these words, captured in the Appendix to the Congressional Globe:

“I conjure gentlemen–whether from the South or the North, by all they hold dear in this world–by all their love of liberty–by all their veneration for their ancestors–by all their regard for posterity–by all their gratitude to Him who has bestowed upon them such unnumbered blessings–by all the duties they owe to themselves–by all these consideration I implore them to pause–solemnly to pause–at the edge of the precipice, before the fearful and disastrous leap is taken in the yawning abyss below, which will inevitably lead to certain and irretrievable destruction.

“. . . I implore, as the best blessing which Heaven can bestow upon me upon earth, that if the direful and sad event of the dissolution of the Union shall happen, I may not survive to behold the sad and heart-rending spectacle.”

Henry Clay died in June 1852.

For his part, here are some of the actions and events that shaped the uneven legacy of Andrew Jackson:

  • Fought against the Creek Indians in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend
  • Defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812
  • Invaded Spanish Florida and fought against the Seminole Indians
  • Owned slaves on his Tennessee plantation the Hermitage
  • Advocated for the power of the “common man” in politics
  • Vetoed the recharter of the Second Bank of the U.S. as a means of fighting economic privilege
  • Authorized the Indian Removal Act
  • Refused to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court decision (Worcester v. Georgia) that denied Georgia authority over tribal lands belonging the Cherokee
  • The combination of the prior two actions set the stage for the forced removal of Cherokees to the west of the Mississippi River that became known as the Trail of Tears after more than a quarter of the Cherokee population died during this journey.

Jackson died in June 1845.

The Civil War began in April 1861.

“Archival Odyssey: Taking Students to the Sources”

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I decided to take Darin Waters‘ advice and read John Hope Franklin’s 1969 article published in the American Archivist entitled “Archival Odyssey: Taking Students to the Sources.”  Franklin read this paper at a joint luncheon of the American Historical Association and the Society of American Archivists that took place in New York in December 1968.

At the time, Franklin was chair of the history department at the University of Chicago.  A few years earlier, he’d met with the director of the South Carolina Archives, Charles Lee, who posed a simple question (376):

“Why have your students engage in a tug of war over two or three pages of manuscripts, perhaps one newspaper, and Appleton’s Annual Cyclopadia as they attempt to write seminar papers up there in Chicago, when each of them could have his own wall of manuscripts down here.”

Franklin convinced his university to help defray the costs for his graduate students, and they spent 2 weeks in early 1967 researching Reconstruction at the State Archives of North Carolina along with the nearby manuscript repositories at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The graduate students read all the relevant secondary sources and defined their research topics before they arrived in Raleigh, and the staff of the State Archives researched the relevant materials in their collection.  The staff and students met frequently while they were in Raleigh to share insights on materials, problems, sources, and approaches.  In addition to the knowledge and materials the students gained, Franklin explained that the greatest benefit of this experience was in the confidence they developed.  Franklin concluded (380):

“the opportunity afforded the students of going ‘beyond the water’s edge’ to confront significant materials that formed the bases for meaningful and even important papers was worth every effort that was put into the undertaking.”

I hope archival repositories never lose sight of the need to cultivate such relationships so we can continue leading students “beyond the water’s edge.”

Archives and History: Terry Cook

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I’ll conclude my foray into the intersection between archivists and historians by looking at an article published by Terry Cook, “The Archive(s) Is a Foreign Country: Historians, Archivists, and the Changing Archival Landscape.”  Cook worked at the National Archives of Canada for many years (1975-98), as an archival consultant at Clio Consulting (1996-2014), and as a professor in the Archival Studies Program at the University of Manitoba (1998-2012).  This article began its development as an address at various conferences and was first published in the September 2009 issue of the Canadian Historical Review (cited here); it was republished in the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of the American Archivist.

First a look at the title — the Alex Poole piece I looked at last week included a nod to this notion, and Cook actually provided the context.  David Lowenthal wrote The Past Is a Foreign County, using as inspiration the opening line from L.P. Hartley’s novel, The Go-Between, which begins:

“‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there'” (500).

Lowenthal asserted that the distinct vision of past vs. present can be dated to the early 19th century, when the intersection of Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution spawned an idealistic remembering of the past that sharply contrasted with the harsh realities of the present.  This notion encouraged the active collecting of artifacts, leading to the creation of numerous museums, libraries, archives (and zoos!) — but in the process, caused the past to be perceived differently than the present.  Cook concluded the modern archives emerged out of this impetus to collect, guard, and venerate the past, “as if on a pedestal, separated from the present, thus bearing the pristine character that the new scientific historians required for their work” (515).

The distinction Cook made between the archive and the archives is as follows:

  • archive: seen “as a metaphoric symbol, as representation of identity, or as the recorded memory production of some person or group or culture” (498)
  • archives: the institution or profession

He used the designation archive(s) to refer jointly to the documents collected and the institutions that house them.

Cook contended that the split between archivists and historians resulted from misconceptions on both sides about records, largely related to a perceived objectivity of the archival record.  Although this split in Canada occurred about four decades later than the split of the Society of American Archivists from the American Historical Association, his  analyses and insights still have much to offer.  He suggested that the archive(s) is foreign to historians — not for lack of contact, but for lack of understanding.  He said historians approach the archive(s) more so “as tourists passing through, focusing on their guidebooks, intent on capturing appealing views, but overlooking their surroundings, not talking to the local inhabitants about what they do, thus failing to understand the country’s real character and animating soul.”  In this metaphor, archivists are the tour guides, “content to lead the tourists to the obvious, the well known, the visually appealing, the easy to locate, the popular or politically correct, but less willing, or now, in some cases, less able, to take visitors off the beaten path” (503).

Cook contrasted the old role of archivists — which may still be perceived by historians as our current role — with a more postmodernist vision.  While historians may look at archivists as the “honest broker” connecting researchers with original creators of the records (505), Cook asserted that through appraisal, archivists actually “co-create the archive” (504).  He acknowledged the Jenkinsonian notion of the archivist as guardian or keeper and noted the longstanding acceptance of this “curatorial, neutered, and self-deprecating professional mindset held by archivists” (506).  Cook credited W. Kaye Lamb as one of the first to jettison this passive role for archivists:

“‘Sources can wait for the historian for years, but if they are to be there to await his pleasure, some archivist may have to make up his mind in a hurry and act quickly in order to secure and preserve them'” (508).

Cook concluded that historians are likely in a state of denial about the activity of archivists because since the rise of the professional historian and the scientific approach to studying history, they prefer to believe they are conducting exhaustive research of all relevant materials, applying an objective methodology, and thereby discovering “the facts” about the past.  These assumptions require a virginal archive:

“If records in archives were the critical portal to discovering the facts about the past, then the archive certainly could not be acknowledged as the product of the subjective process of archival appraisal, or of active interventions by archivists to shape and reshape the meaning of records in all the other subsequent archival activities across the never-ending life (dare I say, the history) of its documentary holdings” (509).

Cook identified appraisal as “the major act” that determines historical meaning (511).  Yet he suggested many archivists seem more comfortable with focusing on process and administration than on appraisal.  He said late 19th and early 20th century notions of archival work embraced the Darwinian concept of evolution, thereby eliminating any possibility of selection by the archivist and instead emphasizing the objectivity in the accumulated records.

Cook noted a finding that I also encountered during this series on Archives and History — that historians haven’t dedicated much ink to coming to any sort of understanding of the relationship between archivists and historians.  He identified two primary misconceptions that define this relationship:

  • historians don’t acknowledge the intervention by archivists — especially through appraisal, arrangement, and description — that shapes the records they research
  • archivists neither acknowledge their impact on the archival record nor document their interventions in a way that can be made transparent to researchers

Although historians have for decades recognized there are gaps in the record — especially a paucity of sources documenting the poor and powerless — they have not connected this to active decisions by archivists.  While perhaps on the one hand we should be grateful they aren’t blaming us for not having what may or may not have existed, honest dialogue between the professions should lead to more fruitful work on both sides.

Cook suggested archivists spend too much time focused on the means (i.e., the processes and methodologies of archival work) rather than on the end (i.e., the creation of the archival record).  He promoted the notion that archivists engage in and share research that engenders “new knowledge” about the record’s context (518).  He challenged archivists to partner with historians to develop an intellectual history of the archival profession, both from the inside out and from the outside in.  Some topics that should be investigated include:

  • the arbitrary distinction between public (government) records and private papers
  • the valuation of textual vs. other documentary sources
  • the preference for the records of the state over those of individuals and groups
  • the focus on the “legal, constitutional, fiscal, defence, and foreign policy dimensions” of records over social and cultural concerns (526)

Cook asserted this sort of focused archival research will lead to better “archival praxis” (533).  He concluded that the changing archival landscape has not only created a divide between archivists and historians but has engendered splits among archivists.  He challenged archivists to embrace a “transformed archival landscape” (531):

  • Appraisal should aim to create more “inclusive and democratic” holdings.
  • Archivists should be involved with records creators rather than merely accepting their “residues.”
  • “The focus in all archival activities would be on documenting function, activity, and ideas, rather than primarily reflecting the structures, offices, and persons
    of origin.”
  • Description of archival records should be less hierarchical and should incorporate the expertise of researchers.
  • Materials should be evaluated regardless of media or format.
  • “the records themselves would have detailed, contextualized, and interrelated histories, ever-evolving, opening up, rather than closed down in fixed frameworks when they cross the archival threshold”
  • archivists should embrace our “subjective, mediative role, openly and accountably, as an agent less for buttressing institutional power than for
    advancing archives for broader social purposes”

Cook argued the raison d’être for archives now has more to do with “accountability, freedom of information, and wider public/citizen use of archives for protection of rights, heritage education at all levels, and the enjoyment of personal and community connections with the past” (532).  As such, archivists must “examine much more consciously, and historically, their many choices (and the assumptions behind them) in the archives-creating and memory-formation process, and they need to leave transparent evidence of their own activity so they may be held accountable for their choices to posterity” (533).

Archives and History: Alex Poole

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I have two more articles I want to review for this series on archives and history.  This week’s was written by Alex Poole and is entitled “Archival Divides and Foreign Countries?  Historians, Archivists, Information-Seeking, and Technology: Retrospect and Prospect.”  He is an assistant professor at Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics.  His article was published in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of the American Archivist.

Poole gave no credence to the idea that the relationship between archivists and historians has deteriorated.  He recounted 80 years of this relationship along with the methods that archivists have used to study historians.  He suggested three reasons why it’s important for archivists to study historians:

  1. historians’ work extends beyond their academic community
  2. historians are important users and advocates for archives as “‘researchers of last resort'”
  3. historians are an “identifiable and measurable user group” (376)

If you want a concise literature review of the entire history of the relationship between archivists and historians, read pages 377-80.  (Several of the articles he cited have also been reviewed here in prior weeks.  And Poole’s endnotes provide a very thorough listing of the relevant literature.)  Ultimately, he contended that a primary reason for the perception of a divide between archivists and historians has been a tendency to homogenize each group, while in fact he asserted that historians both understand and appreciate the work of archivists.  He also identified shared concerns of both groups:

“the nature of source materials, the phenomenon of social memory, and issues surrounding culture, power, and agency” (380)

Poole identified the 1970s as the first time that archivists conducted research on the information-seeking behavior of historians, largely necessitated by the rise of social history and cultural history. The overall result of these shifting priorities for historians was a desire for more and different sources to help shape the narrative of these new bottom-up histories.  Archivists have typically used four methods for surveying historians:

  • Bibliometrics.  These sorts of investigations encompass citation studies (which “count each bibliographic unit each time it appears in a footnote”) along with reference studies (which “count each bibliographic unit in the footnote only once”) (381-82).  Although bibliometrics produces a huge amount of data, it reveals nothing about how researchers acquire sources or what quality they assign to these sources.
  • Questionnaires.  If a questionnaire is well-designed, it can collect useful data from individual researchers, but it is limited by said individual’s memory.
  • Interviews.  While interviews can provide more in-depth feedback, they depend on the interviewee to analyze and report the evolution of perceptions and behaviors during the research process.  Including open-ended questions could address some of these concerns.
  • Combination.  Poole acknowledged that combining methodologies can produce better results but also creates more challenges for the researcher.

Each of these methodologies is summarized in tables compiling data from various studies.  Poole then evaluated the results of these studies regarding the locating of sources, using primary and nontextual materials, and general information-seeking strategies.

  • Historians still depend on footnote/citation chaining to find sources.  They also count on archivists to point them to relevant sources — especially in person but also through finding aids that lend a degree of familiarity to unfamiliar collections or repositories.  A fascinating finding indicated that “the most popular retrieval methods were not invariably the most effective” (389).  While the idea of having access to primary source materials online is attractive, historians remain concerned about the accuracy and completeness of digitized sources along with preferring room for context and peer-reviewed mediation.
  • Primary sources remain the cornerstone of historians’ research.  However, the various studies revealed some contradictions between what sorts of sources historians prefer vs. what sources they actually cite in their research, which raises an interesting question on the difference between use and usefulness.  Archivists also need to figure out how to preserve provenance and authenticity in the realm of digitization.  Research demonstrates that nontextual sources also need to be readily accessible to historians.
  • While seeking information, historians seem prone to collect names, subjects, eras, and organizations.  Poole asserted historians “would be well advised to involve archivists earlier and more frequently in the research process both formally and informally” (402).

Poole analyzed how historians use information technology in their research, concluding that many rejected the practice of quantitative history.  Studies revealed that historians fear sacrificing time using technology that might not make their work more productive, and they also were discouraged by adequate instruction about employing technology and by irrelevant results.  Ultimately, it seems that inertia prevents any real attention being given to how digital tools can augment historians’ traditional research methods.

Poole concluded with a list of possibilities for future research regarding historians, archivists, and information-seeking:

  • digital history
  • personal archiving
  • Web 2.0
  • democratization and public history
  • crowdsourcing and citizen archivists
  • digital curation
  • activism and social justice
  • diversity and demographics
  • education and training

It seems to me that personal archiving should be one of the most important areas of concern for manuscript repositories, as so many of the “papers” they may want to collect in the future will be in electronic formats.  And as a former teacher, I was intrigued by Poole’s questions regarding education and training.  The research seems to indicate that historians do not train their protégés in how to work with primary sources (whether print or electronic sources).  Because these implicit assumptions that history students know how to find, access, and interpret primary sources impact the work of archivists, should we also take on the responsibility of teaching these research skills?  I know some repositories have the staff on board who could facilitate such training, but I imagine many would chafe at the suggestion.  I particularly like the concept of archival literacy defined by Sammie Morris, Lawrence J. Mykytiuk, and Sharon A. Weiner (418):

  • “understanding and locating primary sources”
  • “developing a research question and an argument”
  • “soliciting feedback and guidance from archivists”
  • “showing increasing familiarity with archives”
  • “adhering to publication standards”
  • “progressively refining these skills”

As I frequently indicate, I see no point in archivists preserving materials permanently if they cannot be accessed and properly used, so I’m a proponent of doing our part to promote archival literacy.  Whether this is university archives working with first-year students or any repository working with K-12 students, I believe archival literacy is a worthy goal — and one we as a profession should figure out how to accomplish.

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