In thinking about book groups yesterday, I thought it would be interesting to have historians read books from our discipline to help them learn about archives. So I’ll pose here the question I posted on Twitter, what one book do you think would give historians (and other scholars) the best understanding of what archives are and how they function? And what archivists really do, too, I suppose. Here are some suggestions from Twitter:
- Judith Ellis, Keeping Archives
- Richard Cox, Archival Anxiety and the Vocational Calling
- Procter, Cook, and Williams (eds.), Political Pressure and the Archival Record
- O’Toole and Cox, Understanding Archives and Manuscripts
I also think that Archives Power might be a good choice. And although I had issues with some of its conclusions, Fran Blouin and William Rosenberg’s Processing the Past does do a good job of providing an overview of the field. I suppose the answer is that there is no one book, so perhaps putting together a reading list might be a more effective approach. Thoughts on the suggestions so far? More to add?