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Archives and Societal Provenance by Michael Piggott

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Epilogue: an archival afterlife

Abstract. The chapter considers firstly the connections between death, archives and memory, beginning and ending with references to the author’s own personal and family experiences. It outlines some of the numerous ways the anticipation of and aftermath of death result in records, and nominates six topics for further research. Secondly, there is discussion of individual ‘memory death’, how long after an individual’s actual death it takes for him or her to be forgotten, and how social and other factors such as the existence and preservation of archives might extend this. The conclusion counsels against inflated claims for archives-enabled immortality.

Keywords: Death, memory-death, memory, suicide, afterlife

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