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From Polders to Postmodernism: A Concise History of Archival Theory

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From Polders to Postmodernism is a broad ranging history of the conception and development of the theories that have guided archivists in their work from the late 19th through the early 21st centuries. Narrated through the controversial thread of archival appraisal theory, the book examines how archivists have engaged with theory through the tension between keeping records From Polders to Postmodernism is a broad ranging history of the conception and development of the theories that have guided archivists in their work from the late 19th through the early 21st centuries. Narrated through the controversial thread of archival appraisal theory, the book examines how archivists have engaged with theory through the tension between keeping records that reflect objective history "as it happened" and subjective decision making in the archive. Through an interpretive reading of archival theory, distinct periods emerge, with each paradigm contributing unique responses to difficult archival, historical, and theoretical contexts.


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From Polders to Postmodernism is a broad ranging history of the conception and development of the theories that have guided archivists in their work from the late 19th through the early 21st centuries. Narrated through the controversial thread of archival appraisal theory, the book examines how archivists have engaged with theory through the tension between keeping records From Polders to Postmodernism is a broad ranging history of the conception and development of the theories that have guided archivists in their work from the late 19th through the early 21st centuries. Narrated through the controversial thread of archival appraisal theory, the book examines how archivists have engaged with theory through the tension between keeping records that reflect objective history "as it happened" and subjective decision making in the archive. Through an interpretive reading of archival theory, distinct periods emerge, with each paradigm contributing unique responses to difficult archival, historical, and theoretical contexts.

30 review for From Polders to Postmodernism: A Concise History of Archival Theory

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ed Summers

    This was a nice little find for my continuing self-education in archives. As its title suggests, it's a short survey (less than 200 pages), that traces a series of paradigm shifts in archival theory starting in the 19th century Netherlands leading up to the present. Ridener focuses on the approaches to subjectivity and objectivity in archival theory in order to show how the theories have changed and built on each other over the last 200 years. He does a nice job of sketching the context for the This was a nice little find for my continuing self-education in archives. As its title suggests, it's a short survey (less than 200 pages), that traces a series of paradigm shifts in archival theory starting in the 19th century Netherlands leading up to the present. Ridener focuses on the approaches to subjectivity and objectivity in archival theory in order to show how the theories have changed and built on each other over the last 200 years. He does a nice job of sketching the context for the theories, the changes in society and technology that drove them, as well as some interesting biographical material about individuals such as Jenkins and Schellenberg. After having just read Controlling the Past I felt like I had some exposure to contemporary thinking about archives, but was lacking some of the historical background, so this book was very helpful. I think I might have to read Schellenberg's Modern Archives now, especially because of the NARA connection. But that might get sidelined to read more of Terry Cook's work on macro-appraisal. My only small complaint is that I noticed quite a few typos in the first half of the book, which got a little distracting at times.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tvrtko Balić

    This book is not bad it is not good either. It is just boring. But at least now I know what I don't want to continue studying. Now excuse while I read another book on archivism before the exam because I hate myself. This book is not bad it is not good either. It is just boring. But at least now I know what I don't want to continue studying. Now excuse while I read another book on archivism before the exam because I hate myself.

  3. 5 out of 5

    JT

    3.5 stars. Good info, but repetitive at times, especially towards the end.

  4. 4 out of 5

    penny shima glanz

    please see this post for details. (Sorry I still feel weird cross posting the reviews between LT & goodreads) please see this post for details. (Sorry I still feel weird cross posting the reviews between LT & goodreads)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linus Wennerhag

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monicaaa

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bryce

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Bentley

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

  11. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

  13. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

  14. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

  15. 5 out of 5

    Richard Pearce-moses

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mari

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rory Litwin

  19. 5 out of 5

    todd

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eviryz

  21. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Keilty

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cody

  23. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eric Cartier

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peg

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alison Cook

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  29. 4 out of 5

    Camille Torres Hoven

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kingsborough Library

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