I’ve been considering doing another book group, with a somewhat different format than the Reading Archives Power one we did a couple of years ago. (Wow. That was three years ago now. Time flies.) I was thinking of trying to give myself a goal of reading one archives-related book a month. If I turn this into a book club thing it will give me more of a commitment to really do it, and I’m sure that would be true for others. Anyone interested?
I’ve been interested in reading books about archives and the use of archives written by historians (and other non-archivists), along the lines of:
- Clair Potter, Doing Recent History
- Antoinette Burton (ed.), Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions and the Writing of History
- Robert Townsend, History’s Babel: Scholarship, Professionalization, and the Historical Enterprise in the United States, 1880 – 1940
- Carolyn Steedman, Dust: The Archive and Cultural History
- Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense
- Wolfgang Ernst, Digital Memory and the Archive
- Paula Amad, Counter-Archive: Film, the Everyday, and Albert Kahn’s Archives de la Planète
- Jerome de Groot, Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture
- Dan Cohen, Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (a little old–it’s 2005, but still might be interesting)
- Thomas Richards, Imperial Archive: Knowledge and the Fantasy of Empire
- Kathryn Burns, Into the Archive: Writing and Power in Colonial Peru
- Nupur Chaudhuri, Contesting Archives: Finding Women in the Sources
- if we really want to get ambitious, we could put the dreaded Derrida’s Archive Fever on the list, but maybe not right off the bat.
Other possibilities include books about the digital world, such as:
- James Gleick, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
- Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants
- Tim Wu, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
Or something like:
I think reading books outside our own discipline might be interesting, although of course, there are plenty of wonderful books written by archivists that I have not gotten around to reading too.
In a follow-up post I’ll ask about a different reading list–what books about archives would you must like historians to read? But for now, if you’re interested in participating in a book club for archivists, and if you have ideas about what you’d like to read, please leave a comment.