reading notes: dynamic modes of recordkeeping

Anderson, Kimberly. 2013. “The Footprint and the Stepping Foot: Archival Records, Evidence, and Time.” Archival Science, 13:4, p. 349-371. DOI: 10.1007/s10502-012-9193-2

If archivists can learn to recognize records in all their forms, perhaps archivists can stop trying to acquire or create records that can be separated from their community of origin. If we move towards the citizen or community archivist model, the archives becomes a clearinghouse of sorts in which seekers are referred to the community for access, rather than capturing or translating records for use in the archives. P. 361

Article Overview

There is so much going on in this article! I recommend taking some time to read the full article if it’s of interest to you. Here goes my attempt at summarizing the article as well as my take-aways:

This article proposes a redefinition of what constitutes an archival record. By bringing into focus non-Western modes of thinking on concepts of time, record keeping, and relationships between creator/expert and record, Anderson questions the inclusiveness of archival collections (in the United States) and calls for archivists to acknowledge the need to begin identifying records without imposing Western concepts of ‘recordness’ on dynamic practices of recordkeeping. An example of a dynamic practice of recordkeeping would be dance or ritual (Anderson refers to this as kinetic or oral records, see p. 364). Continue reading