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Abstract

Until the 1970s, work experience was the singular training venue for most American archivists. A protoarchivist came to the field with background education in the humanities and learned on-the-job. However effective a method for instilling institutional practices, OJT (onthe- job training) has its limits as a vehicle for professionalization. Practitioners were rarely steeped or even informed about the theories and complexities of information systems or the auxiliary sciences of history. Most archivists were constricted by the pragmatic realities of their daily work schedule; hence, they were without the time or "leisure" to theorize about their problems in an abstracted fashion. During recent years, archivists have begun to break out of this circular trap due in part to the rise of graduate archival education programs. Archival education now stands as the major transportation on the road from an apprenticeship-based craft to a profession, but this road is still very new and full of bumps.

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