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Seeing Archives: Postmodernism and the Changing Intellectual Place of Archives

Tom Nesmith
The American Archivist
Vol. 65, No. 1 (Spring - Summer, 2002), pp. 24-41
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40294187
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Seeing Archives: Postmodernism and the Changing Intellectual Place of Archives
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Abstract

Archivists have begun to outline the general application of a postmodern perspective to archival work. Postmodernists emphasize the idea that there is no way to avoid or neutralize the limits of the mediating influences that shape our understandings of our worlds. This postmodern outlook suggests an important new intellectual place for archives in the formation of records, knowledge, culture, and societies. This article aims to contribute more fully to an understanding of how the postmodern view of communication and language throws light on the role of archivists in mediating, and thus shaping, the knowledge available in archives. It concludes with the suggestion that this understanding of the role archivists play will be pivotal in archiving the computerized record.

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