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Archives and Societal Provenance by Michael Piggott

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14

Alchemist magpies? Collecting archivists and their critics

Abstract.

The chapter reproduces a 2008 lecture which began by outlining the two classic kinds of archive institutions, collecting archives and in-house archives, contrasting the strong support in-house archives receive in Australia with the struggles programmes such as the Noel Butlin Archives Centre endure. Objections to collecting archives are then considered. The historic argument of Sir Hilary Jenkinson and two later critics, Australian Chris Hurley and American Richard Cox, are discussed, then without denying there are valid concerns, the author asks in defence of collecting archives who else could document an influential segment of society known as ‘ordinary Australians’. ...

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