Publication Date

January 1997


Over the past two decades archivists have moved to define and codify their own separate and distinct profession, inventing a new language, developing a more intensive and expansive training regimen, and constructing a unique theoretical base. Such efforts may have helped archivists to distinguish themselves more clearly from other disciplines, but this new professional orientation has also produced conflicts with former friends and allies over issues such as governmental policies concerning electronic mail, funding priorities for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and Freedom of Information Act requests. The historical profession, too, has undergone significant changes as shifting research agendas, marketplace realities for graduate students, and the ascendancy of the race, class, and gender paradigm within historical discourse have seriously challenged the notion of objective scholarship based on meticulous archival research. As a result archivists and historians have suffered through a somewhat strained relationship.



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