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In the early modern era, archives were a conduit for information transfer across Europe. Historians have increasingly centered archives and archivists as actors in scholarship of Early Modern European (c. 1450-1800) historical concerns. In particular, two linked areas of inquiry have been emphasized: the impact of archives on forming European identities, and the influence of European archivists on shaping archives. Studies of archives are rich sources that tease out ideological shifts in early modern times. This essay discusses recent literature and seminal writings contributing to understandings of emergent archives and archival practices across Early Modern Europe. Exploring the concept of “archival enterprise” within these contexts presents exciting opportunities to examine its manifestations through a multitude of lenses and fields of study. The works illuminate the fortitude and resilience of archivists engaged in archival labor during the early modern era. They also recast the archivist’s persona from a neutral information facilitator to an interventionist mediator of the past.



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