Att fylla luckor i samlingarna?: Dokumentations- och insamlingsprojekt på svenska arkiv
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Filling the gaps in archival collections? : Documentation projects and collecting activities at Swedish archives (English)
Traditionally archives have been regarded as repositories where documents naturally generated in the different processes of organisations are stored, the emphasis being on “naturally generated”. Responsible for the long-term preservation of these records is the always objective and neutral archivist whose task is to make sure that the records will not get corrupted and can be used as evidence. In the past few decades, however, the archival community has become more and more aware of the fact that certain groups, voices and histories – mainly those of ordinary people – are missing from the archives. The purpose of this thesis was to examine how archives in Sweden approach this issue and what efforts they make to fill these gaps in their collections.
I examined three kinds of archival institutions: city archives, private archives and museum archives. By analysing their survey response and project documentation (when not available, interviews), I aimed to find out what arguments they had for and against documenting society and what groups, events or places they documented. The research showed that most public archives did not engage in such activities as most of them did not even think it was their task to collect and/or create new documents. The few institutions that have or have had documentation projects focused mainly on local people and the history of the town they were located in. When it comes to private archives, the attitude was completely different and they regard these projects as a significant part of their work. Almost all of the private institutions I contacted have an active outreach programme where they either create new primary source documents themselves or inform organisations in the private sector about the importance of documenting their activities and preserving the documentation. Museum archives were a special case: since the museums I studied document different places, phenomena and groups the documents created automatically fill certain gaps in their archives. Filling the gaps is, however, seldom the main goal of their projects and they focus more on how the new primary sources can be used in the future, for instance in exhibitions.
The argumentation behind these projects varied, some institutions argued that certain experiences and memories had to be documented before it is too late while others emphasised the importance of documenting our time for future generations. Other arguments occur too, such as gaps in the collections that need to be filled or helping a certain group integrate who, by contributing their stories, can participate in writing the town’s history.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 86 p.
Uppsatser inom arkivvetenskap, ISSN 1651-6087 ; 153
Archives, Documentation, Cultural Heritage
arkiv, samtidsdokumentation, kulturarv
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307387Local ID: 153OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-307387DiVA: diva2:1055145
Subject / course
Master Programme in ALM