Archives, 2nd edition

May 2017 | 304pp

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Archives, 2nd edition
Principles and practices

Laura A Millar

This updated edition offers an international perspective on archives management, providing guidance relevant both to collections-based repositories and to organizations responsible for managing their own institutional archives. 

Written in clear language with lively examples, the book outlines fundamental archival principles and practices, introduces core concepts and explains best-practice actions that archivists can take to ensure the documentary materials in their care are cared for as effectively as possible.

This revised edition contains expanded discussion of the impact of digital technologies on archival materials and archival practice and an examination of the changing role of the archivist in the digital age, as archival professionals find that they need to be directly engaged with the
creators of records in order to help ensure the preservation of valuable archives, for the present and for posterity. Topics addressed in the book include:

  • the nature of archives and archival institutions
  • the role of archival service as a matter of trust
  • core archival concepts such as provenance, original order and respect des fonds
  • practical guidance in the execution of central archival tasks, including appraisal, preservation, arrangement, description, reference and access
  • discussion about the changing role and responsibilities of the archival institution and archival practitioner, as digital technologies fundamentally transform how records and archives are created,
  • captured, preserved, used and shared.

Readership: Archival practitioners, archival studies students and professors, librarians, museum curators, and others responsible for archival collections, community museums, local authorities, small governments, public and community libraries, and other agencies with archival responsibility.

Figures and tables  



PART I: Principles 
1. What are archives?    
2. An overview of archival theories and concepts    
3. The nature of archives    
4. The uses of archives    
5. Types of archival institution    
6. Archival service as a public trust    
7. Balancing access and privacy  

PART 2: Practices        
8. Establishing the archival institution    
9. Appraising and acquiring archives    
10. Preserving archives    
11. Arranging and describing archives    
12. Making archives available    
13. Providing online access and reference  


To learn more    
Journal literature    
National and state institutions    
Professional associations    
Additional reading

Glossary of terms 


Dr Laura A. Millar is an independent consultant in the fields of archival and information management, publishing and education. She has taught archives and information management, publishing, editing and writing in universities and colleges in Canada and internationally and has written and edited a large number of books and articles on these subjects.


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