Archives and innovation, or, how I’m spending my summer and (and early fall)

You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet here (and on Twitter). So, here’s a update.

It can’t possibly have escaped your attention if you follow this blog that I’m editing a series of four books for Scarecrow press, each a compilation of case studies on an area of archival practice: outreach, reference and access, description, and management. Each book will contain ~12ish case studies, so what I am doing and have been doing is lining those up and reviewing drafts.

In addition to that, like the ambitious/crazy person that I am, I want to add something of value to each book that speaks to the meaning of “innovation” in archives and to the development of “innovation” in that area of practice. Will I actually be able to do that? Who knows. But it’s my goal. My tentative outline now for my introduction is:

  • What do we mean when we talk about innovation?
  • Is there a history of innovation in archives/spec coll in US?
  • What has the development of this area looked like? Have there been past periods of innovation? (Based on analysis of past 40 SAA annual meeting programs & literature review)
  • Overview of case studies and why they represent innovation.

As I said, this might not work out, and it certainly might not end up looking anything like that outline! But as you might imagine, if I really do try to explore the development of each of those four areas of practice in any depth, I’m going to have a pretty hectic summer ahead of me.  So if you see odd tweets about literature from the past or titles of sessions from SAA annual meetings of the ’70s, ’80’s, ’90’s, 00’s, and 10’s, that’s what that’s about.

Wish me luck! (Oh, and don’t forget to make your donation–applicants are flowing in but donations have slowed . . . )


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