Proposal for the next three readings: Short & serious, long & fluffy, then long & serious.

In light of the coming of summer, I’d like to suggest a slight change to the format of our readings.

I’d like to discuss a document commissioned by SAA in the early 1980’s, The Image of Archivists: Resource Allocaters’ Perceptions, commonly referred to as “The Levy Report.” It’s about 60 pages long and is available as a PDF on the SAA website: I’ll shoot for starting that discussion in two weeks, on June 21.

After that, how about some light summer reading? What about one of those Brad Meltzer thrillers that involve archives? I’ve heard they’re not too bad.  That could take us through most of the summer.

Then we’ll pick up toward the end of August or early September with Blouin and Rosenberg’s Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives, which was the clear choice for the next book in the poll. This will give you a chance to start reading it over the summer if you like. I have read it, and if I am correct it was somewhat slower going than the books we’ve read so far.

Unless I hear a groundswell of support for diving into B&R right away, this is the schedule we’ll go with. When I figure out what “fluffy” book we’ll be taking to the beach with us, I’ll announce it. Recommendations welcome! And I haven’t read the Levy Report yet, but I expect there may be some interesting fodder for us there.

New poll: What should we read next?

We’re half way through our current book, so it’s time to think about the next one. I’m not sure how many people are still following along, but for the hardy few, here are your options:

Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense

Francis X. Blouin Jr. and William G. Rosenberg, Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives

Peter Wosh (ed.), Waldo Gifford Leland and the Origins of the American Archival Profession

I think after this next one we’ll pick something light for summer, like a Brad Meltzer. But for now, please vote for which serious book you’d like to read next.

Survey: What should the next book be?

It’s time to think about the next book. To vote, use the poll below, but here are links for the books if you want to check them out:

We’re not quite done with Dust I think, but I want to give everyone time to get a copy of the next book and start reading!

Announcing our first book: Dust: The Archive and Cultural History

Welcome to Archivists Reading Together! Today I’m announcing the first of what I hope will be many books we will read together, Dust: The Archive and Cultural History by Carolyn Steedman. I’ll plan to kick off the discussion on Monday, February 18. This should give us all time to acquire the book and read it.

I’m not quite sure yet how the discussion will be structured, but I think we’ll approach it thematically rather than chapter by chapter. I’ve been told that the later chapters of this book may be less relevant to archivists, so if you don’t get around to finishing it, don’t fret. You can still be part of the conversation.

And please note, as I cover in the About page, this discussion is open to everyone–not just archivists. We’re going to be talking about books about archives, so I think archivists will be primary audience, but all are welcome. Please let me know if there’s anything else that I need to establish upfront. (Comments policy also covered in the About section.)