Thesis

Archival distortion: a study on postmodern accessioning and memory

Thesis (M.A., History (Public History))--California State University, Sacramento, 2017.

Archival professionals and academics have explored and developed standards and best practices for accessioning collections, but much of the existing literature on accessioning only pertains to appraisal and the ethics behind choosing which collections to acquire. Archivists, administrators, donors, and other stakeholders can potentially influence a collection as it goes through the accessioning process. The purpose of this project is to provide practical solutions for mitigating the forces that influence a collection prior to accessioning by conducting a survey and series of interviews of archivists. The results of the study show that archival collections are subject to many modes of distortion and to the wills of many actors involved in accessioning, and archivists are aware of them.

Archival professionals and academics have explored and developed standards and best practices for accessioning collections, but much of the existing literature on accessioning only pertains to appraisal and the ethics behind choosing which collections to acquire. Archivists, administrators, donors, and other stakeholders can potentially influence a collection as it goes through the accessioning process. The purpose of this project is to provide practical solutions for mitigating the forces that influence a collection prior to accessioning by conducting a survey and series of interviews of archivists. The results of the study show that archival collections are subject to many modes of distortion and to the wills of many actors involved in accessioning, and archivists are aware of them.

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