Reading Archives and the Academy: Purpose

Some years ago I created and ran the “Reading Archives” blog. You can find this older blog at Its purpose was stated as follows: “With this blog, I am planning to offer, as regularly as possible, critical observations on the scholarly and popular literature analyzing the nature of archives or contributing to our understanding of archives in society. I am not planning to comment on basic practice manuals, technical guides, or best practice reports; these I will continue to describe in my monthly column published in the Records & Information Management Report, a technical report I edit and that is published by M.E. Sharpe. I hope this blog will be of assistance to anyone, especially faculty and graduate students, interested in understanding archives and their importance to society. I hope readers will comment on the postings, suggesting different perspectives or reflecting on other publications related to the specific topic or the broader importance of archives in society. I plan on making postings, from time to time, reflecting my own research and writing or recommending areas and topics that seem ripe for new research. As part of this, I intend to comment occasionally on the work that my own doctoral students are engaged in.”

My earlier blog lasted about two and a half years, before I ended it and turned my attention to other projects and responsibilities; my reasons for terminating this blog were complicated and I may comment on them in future postings. A lot has changed for me since I worked on that blog. I no longer edit the Records & Information Management Report or any other serial publication. With this new blog I am expanding its focus to concentrate on two of my primary research and teaching areas, 1) archives, in all of its facets from theory and knowledge to the history of archives and recordkeeping and 2) the university in society and the place of professional education in the university. Both of these broad areas are showing interesting new research and publications with implications for the archival profession and faculty at all levels. Hopefully this blog will be of use to many of my colleagues and students. It will be of use to me as I continue reading and reflecting on my life and career as an archival scholar and faculty member.

About the Blogger

Richard J. Cox is Professor, Archival Studies, in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences. He has written extensively on archival, records management and historical topics. Dr. Cox was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists in 1989 and has won the Waldo G. Leland Award for the best book on an archival topic in a given year three times.


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