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Abstract

John Mellencamp's song "Dance Naked" might seem an inappropriate way of introducing four student essays on archival topics, but it happened to be what I was listening to as I put the finishing touches to this essay. As with most popular song lyrics (and I am not repeating Mellencamp's words so as not to offend anyone), these words can be interpreted on a number of levels. Yet, I know that when students work on such essays in their archives courses that they both feel naked in their lack of security about their own knowledge of archival science while sensing a similar nakedness in an archival literature marked by great strengths and greater weaknesses. At the least, they are dancing round and round with the archival literature and with new concepts in an effort to prepare themselves to be competent professionals.

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