CFP: Archival Thinking: Genealogies and Archaeologies

Archival Science has circulated a call for papers for a special issue on “Archival Thinking: Genealogies and Archaeologies”.

The guest editors are James Lowry, Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies ( and Heather MacNeil, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto (

It has been suggested that provenance had been established as an organizing principle in Portuguese and Neapolitan archives long before De Wailly’s memorandum of 1841 introduced the principle to the Archives Nationales de France. It has also been suggested that macroappraisal emerged simultaneously but separately in Canada and China. And while the roots of certain aspects of records management have been traced back to medieval chancery procedures, much of its history remains under-researched and poorly understood.

There is a need for work that illuminates the history of ideas in the archival field. This special issue will provide space for explorations of archival concepts and practices as they have emerged over time. We are calling for papers that examine the development of archival practices, theories and traditions in different national and social contexts, and their transposition and movement over time. Articles might include:

• discussions of Indigenous knowledge systems as sovereign or normative rather than alternative, supplementary or subaltern information systems

• genealogies of classification theory that centre or recognise the contribution of archival thinking to knowledge organisation in other fields

• lexicographical experiments, for instance mappings of technical terms across languages or traditions

• studies of linked data or Records in Contexts that begin in the 1960s or earlier

• expositions of concepts of authenticity other than the juridical and Eurocentric conceptualisation dominant in archival studies

• longitudinal visual analyses of the changing definition of provenance

• glossed translations of canonical works in languages other than English

• histories of records management and its techniques, for instance the application of business process mapping to the design of classification schemes or the articulation of traditional registration practices in standards for digital systems

•  imagining an alternative present by deleting canonical works from history


We are particularly interested in papers that employ the archaeological and genealogical methodologies of Foucault to trace histories of ideas with a view to understanding their place(s) within paradigms, historical trajectories and social moments and movements.

Key dates:

• Submission deadline: 1 December 2019

• Review time: December 2019 to May 2020

Submission instructions:

Papers submitted to the special issue must be original, and must not be under consideration for publication anywhere else. Data that have already been used in previously published work can only be reused if the research questions and analysis framework are new. Articles of various lengths will be accepted, but generally no more than 7,000-8,000 words.

Submissions should be made online via the Editorial Manager system at

During submission please select article type “SI: Archival Thinking”. All manuscripts must be prepared according to the journal publication guidelines which can also be found on the website

Papers will be reviewed following the journal standard peer review process (double-blind).