What is the Meaning of Archives 2.0? (Article available)

In case you missed it, I’ve taken all my musings about how I think Archives 2.0 should be defined and put them into a proper, formal, peer-reviewed article in the American Archivist. “What is the Meaning of Archives 2.0?” is available in the current issue (Volume 74, Number 1 / Spring/Summer 2011). If you’re an SAA member you should have it hand now and also be able to access it on the SAA website. Here’s the abstract:

At first glance the term “Archives 2.0” might refer to the use by archives of Web 2.0 applications, such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. This article proposes a broader definition of Archives 2.0 that includes a comprehensive shift in archival thinking and practice that is related to, but not dependent on, the use of Web 2.0 tools. The article develops this interpretation and explains why this concept provides a useful starting point for conversations about future directions for the archival profession.

If anyone would like a copy of this issue, let me know. I was given a big stack of them and have no idea what I’m going to do with them, so I’m happy to give some out to deserving people. You can see the whole table of contents here.

There are many people who deserve my thanks for helping this project along, but I think the most unusual thanks need to go to the Program Committee for SAA’s 2010 Annual Meeting in DC, who decided to reject a session proposal I submitted on Archives 2.0. This inspired Tom Hyry, who was also on the rejected session proposal, to encourage me to develop my talk into an article.  It would have been a great session, but now it’s a pretty good article. It presents a point of view–my point of view–which you can either agree with or not. After you’ve had a chance to read it, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about the definition and argument, and also whether or not you agree that as a profession we have reached a tipping point or whether we’ve still got a ways to go.

And in addition to the 2010 Program Committee and Tom, thanks to everyone whose sound judgment, good intentions, and useful feedback made this a better article.



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28 Responses to What is the Meaning of Archives 2.0? (Article available)

  1. Hi Kate,

    I’d love a copy! If you’re able to send them to Canada, could you send one to my work address?

    Council of Archives New Brunswick
    P.O Box 1204, Station “A”
    Fredericton, NB
    E3B 5C8

    Hope to see you back up north sometime!

  2. Kate T. says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Ok, great. A copy will make its way to you soon. And, never fear. You can’t keep me out of Canada for long!


  3. Kate T. says:

    The lovely people on Twitter have snagged a few copies too, but I think I have a couple left. So if anyone else wants one, let me know.

  4. L.kiddy says:

    Hi Kate,

    I’d love a copy of this issue!I am a postgraduate in HeBei University,I am writting a paper on this item this summer vocation,I desier to read this article as soon as i saw it on SAA. So if you’re able to send them to China, could you send one electronic copy to my address?
    My e-mai is :lymhhpl@126.com
    Thank you very much!

  5. TomC says:

    Hi Kate,

    Don’t know if I deserve a copy… but I’d love to refer to it in a review of “A different kind of Web” for our archivists and librarians magazine Meta. And I promise I won’t keep the copy to myself and pass it around the interested members of the Archief 2.0 community here in the Low Countries.

    If it is too hard to send a copy to Europe, I’d be happy to refund you the costs involved (as you don’t seem to mention a digital copy).

    Many thanks in advance!

    Tom Cobbaert
    Lange Leemstraat 26
    B-2018 Antwerp

  6. Kate T. says:

    Thanks for your interest, L.kiddy and Tom. I’ll be sending you copies ASAP!

  7. Emily says:

    Hi Kate,

    I’m a recent subscriber to this blog, as I’m hoping to start a grad degree in Archives Studies in fall 2012. If you still have a copy, electronic or paper, I’d love to be able to have a look. I only have a personal mailing address, but I’d be happy to provide it by email and reimburse any shipping costs.

  8. Kate T. says:

    Hi Emily,

    I’ll be following up and will send you a copy. Good luck on starting your degree!



  9. Heather Jones says:

    Hi Kate

    I don’t know if I’ve left it too late or whether you can send to Australia but I too am interested in a copy. I have just completed a Grad Dip in RM & Archives and found the 2.0 aspects of archives by far the most interesting part of my course. Love your blog and my local library has your first book which was very useful for assignments 🙂
    Details: H. Jones, PO Box 9, Drayton North, QLD, 4350, Australia

  10. Anthea says:

    Hi Kate,

    If you have any left, us Archives Outside/State Records NSW people would love to have a copy!


  11. Kate T. says:

    I’ll be happy to send you one. Thanks!

  12. Adele Fitzgerald says:

    Hello Kate,
    I would love a copy if there are any left. I am working pt as a reference librarian in a public library, and pt as a project archivist at a historical society. My passion is local history, and I am very interested in social media as a delivery medium.
    Thanks so much for sharing, and for your thoughtful blog entries.

    Adele Fitzgerald

  13. Kate T. says:

    A copy is on the way to you, Adele. Hope you find it helpful!

  14. David Gill says:

    This sounds very interesting and relevant, Kate. I’d be really grateful if you could send an electronic copy of your article to me here in the UK, please.


  15. Piotr Bewicz says:

    Hi, I’ll be very grateful if you send me a copy. This kind of article that really interested me! Greetings from Poland;)

  16. Kate T. says:

    I should make a map and put stars on all the countries that I’ve sent my article to. Now I can I check off Poland. Enjoy, Piotr!

  17. alexis says:


    I am really interested in your article. Could you send me an electronic copy? If so, I would be so appreciative. Thanks!

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Kate,
    Would appreciate an electronic copy of the paper. Any possibility of emailing?
    As of the map you are (hopefully) maintaining, it is the UK. 🙂

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  21. Karsten says:

    Hi Kate,
    it is a wonderful offer you did! If possible I would appreciate a copy as well very much. I working on some contributions dealing also with methodologies of web 2.0 for the work of archives, f.i. in the field of archival description.

    However, I am here in Germany, so far away from you!

    Karsten Kuehnel
    International Tracing Service
    Grosse Allee 5-9
    34454 Bad Arolsen


  22. Sam says:

    Would very much appreciate an electronic copy of the article if possible?

    Only able to access AA up until 2008 using JSTOR from my university account.

    Best wishes from Ireland.

  23. Kate Theimer says:

    Of course-hope you find it useful!


  24. Ellen Fladger says:

    Dear Kate,
    I’d very much like a copy of your article on the “Meaning of Archives 2.0” Sorry I’m late getting to it. I have to make a presentation on new trends in academic archives to the staff here at the end of the week.
    Ellen Fladger
    Special Collections, Schaffer Library, Union College
    Schenectady, NY 12308

  25. Vilija says:

    an electronic version would really help me as well, working on a paper about Library of Congress Flickr account and what users are doing with it (like commenting, correcting, downloading, etc.).
    I might be a bit cheeky, but any chance of a link to something related to that as well? Went through a few of your articles and found some great stuff already though!

    Best wishes,

  26. m says:

    hi, is it possible to get a digital copy of Your article? could You send it on my mail?

  27. Caren says:

    Hi can I have a copy too? I am so interested with the article topic. Anyway, I’m from Philippines <3 Thank you so much.

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