Event Title

Archivists and Historians: An Examination of their Modern-Day Relationship

Research Mentor(s)

Rand Jimerson

Description

At the beginning of the archival profession in the United States, archivists considered themselves to be historians, and their work for the benefit of the historical profession. In the modern day, it has been noted by both archivists and historians that a gap has emerged between the two professionals. The evolution of the archival profession has expanded the scope of archival work to other priorities outside of historical interests, and historians and archivists have begun to interact less and less. Additionally, the decline in importance of historians to archivists relative to other users has begun to cause friction in interpersonal scenarios. As a result, there have been growing complaints from both sides about the others' conduct, as well as some offered solutions for how to get along and increase productive cooperation. A survey was conducted online to find out what archivists felt about this issue. Questions were asked about their frequency of interactions with historians, how valuable they considered them in comparison to their other users, and what they felt was appropriate conduct when dealing with historians and their research. The results showed that archivists still valued historians and felt that their work was important to their repositories, but there was division in their opinions on how to work with historians, and the trend showed that working with historians did not occupy the majority of any single type of archivists' job. With the evolution of the archival profession, archivists must define who they are outside of an historical context, and historians must learn to navigate with professionals who are no longer beholden only to them.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

15-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2019 5:00 PM

Location

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

Department

HIstory

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 15th, 5:00 PM

Archivists and Historians: An Examination of their Modern-Day Relationship

Carver Gym (Bellingham, Wash.)

At the beginning of the archival profession in the United States, archivists considered themselves to be historians, and their work for the benefit of the historical profession. In the modern day, it has been noted by both archivists and historians that a gap has emerged between the two professionals. The evolution of the archival profession has expanded the scope of archival work to other priorities outside of historical interests, and historians and archivists have begun to interact less and less. Additionally, the decline in importance of historians to archivists relative to other users has begun to cause friction in interpersonal scenarios. As a result, there have been growing complaints from both sides about the others' conduct, as well as some offered solutions for how to get along and increase productive cooperation. A survey was conducted online to find out what archivists felt about this issue. Questions were asked about their frequency of interactions with historians, how valuable they considered them in comparison to their other users, and what they felt was appropriate conduct when dealing with historians and their research. The results showed that archivists still valued historians and felt that their work was important to their repositories, but there was division in their opinions on how to work with historians, and the trend showed that working with historians did not occupy the majority of any single type of archivists' job. With the evolution of the archival profession, archivists must define who they are outside of an historical context, and historians must learn to navigate with professionals who are no longer beholden only to them.