Concern for documents and archival records in America began with religious motives and concern for colonists' rights. By the late 18th century historians increasingly relied on original documents to establish facts and "objective" truth. Beginning with the Revolution historical documents served patriotic and nationalistic purposes, such as veneration of heroes. Efforts to preserve irreplaceable documents resulted in two separate but closely linked traditions-"multiplying the copies" through documentary editing and publication, and establishing repositories to protect original documents. This marked the beginning of archival consciousness in America, led by private historical societies. Archives served the needs of the social elite and confirmed their power.
Required Publisher's Statement
Archivaria, The Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists
Jimerson, Randall C. Western Washington University, "Documents and Archives in Early America" (2005). History. 69.