May 2017 | 224pp
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This new book provides a ground breaking discussion of a major but little considered issue - the silence of the archive: why archives, sometimes seen as the repositories of truth, often fail to satisfy users because they do not contain information which they expect to find.
Silences range from details of individuals’ lives to records of state oppression or of intelligence operations. The book brings together ideas from a wide range of fields, from contemporary history through family history research to Shakespearian studies. It describes why there are these silences, what the impact of them is, how researchers have responded to them and what the silence of the archive means for researchers in the digital age.
The Silence of the Archive marks the first time that the question of silence in the archives has been discussed holistically and from a broad perspective, looking at causes, responses and implications both for researchers and for the archive itself.
Key chapters include:
Readership: This book will be useful reading for professional archivists, postgraduate and undergraduate students of history, archives, librarianship and information studies, as well as academic and other users of archives.
1. Enforced silences - Simon Fowler
2. Inappropriate expectations - Simon Fowler
3. The Digital - David Thomas
4. Dealing with the silence - Valerie Johnson
5. Imagining archives - David Thomas
6. Solutions to the silence - Valerie Johnson
7. Are things getting better or worse? - David Thomas