Welcome

Welcome to the archivefutures research network, an international network of scholars and archivists engaged in speculative and theoretically informed  considerations of  archived manuscripts and personal papers.  This research network is coordinated by Maryanne Dever (University of Technology Sydney) and Linda Morra (Bishop’s University, Canada). This site provides information about network activities and also serves to provide a noticeboard for events, developments […]

Reanimating Working-Class Writing

In a special issue of Across the Disciplines entitled ‘Unsettling the Archives’, Jessica Pauszek contributes an article entitled Preserving Hope: Reanimating Working-Class Writing through (Digital) Archival Co-Creation. In a section dedicated to ‘Bearing Witness in Unsettling Ways’, Pauszek traces how a working-class writing network, the Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers, hoped and tried […]

New article: Critical Digital Archives: A Review from Archival Studies

New out in The American Historical Review (September 2021) is an article by Itza A. Carbajal and Michelle Caswell that explores how archivists and historians might come together in the digital realm. The authors argue that a more developed understanding of digital archival theory and practice can provide the basis for “doing digital history better“. ABSTRACT […]

NEW BOOK: Archive, Photography and the Language of Administration

Jane Birkin‘s new book, Archive, Photography and the Language of Administration (Amsterdam University Press, 2021), will almost certainly be of interest to readers of this blog. Birkin writes in her introduction that she aims ‘to communicate the meaning of the archive through its operations, which I have observed on a day-to-day basis. At the same […]

Virtual unfolding: New digital techniques for opening complex documents

An exciting breakthrough has been announced this week, one that permits researchers to read letters without unfolding them, offering new ways of managing sealed and fragile documents. Using a combination of X-rays and 3-D imagining techniques, researchers virtually “opened” four letters from the Brienne Collection, a trunk filled with 2,600 notes sent from Europe to the […]

Poets and Archives

An online event from the Institute of English Studies (School of Advanced Studies, University of London) for those in UK and compatible timezones. Tuesday 9 March 2021 Online | 18:00-19:15 GMT As museums, archives, and libraries adapt to a series of lockdowns, we have a stronger sense than ever of the challenges involved in providing […]

Colloquium: Information Studies at UCLA

One of the small upsides of the pandemic has been the move to offer research seminars online via Zoom. What were once small gatherings advertised to a local few are now events available (time zones permitting) to interested scholars globally. For those who can line up with Pacific Time (PT), the offerings for the Department […]

New out: Producing the Archival Body

“What can the body do in and for archives?” is the provocation that Jamie A. Lee sets out in Producing the Archival Body. Newly released in the Routledge Studies in Archives series edited by James Lowry, Lee’s book brings critical archival theory together with queer theory to argue for a new understanding of how archival […]

Archives work is emotional work

Reposted from Archive Steph, a reminder of the work of archivists: “More technically, archives work is emotional work. This can be through the cataloguing of the outputs of people’s intimate inner lives (personal papers, email, correspondence, family photos). Sometimes we are taking meticulous care over documenting the life of someone who we don’t like very […]

Poetry manuscripts: Two articles

Two recent articles from Alison Fraser, assistant curator of the Poetry Collection at the University of Buffalo may of interest. Both focus in part on questions of materiality — the manuscript as ‘trash’ and the clipping. The articles are: ‘Creating the Twentieth-Century Literary Archives: A Short History of the Poetry Collection at the University at […]

Manuscript fragments: a webinar to catch up on

The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia has been running a lively set of lectures and panel discussions that are now available online for anyone slow to catch on or living in incompatible time zones. For those interested in manuscripts there is: A Fractured Inheritance: The Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities of Collecting Manuscript […]