RT @archivesinfo: The People & Their "Stuff" - What is the Point of an Archivist's Work?
"An archivist cares for the materials that are created by people - materials that tell their stories certainly, but materials that can also stand on their own in many ways. Archivists are not oral historians, genealogists, or even historians. As archivists, I would argue that our main focus is the "stuff" and not the people themselves. We care for archives and personal papers so that stories can be gleaned from them. We ensure that enough original items are saved so they adequately tell complete stories. Yet, we are more directly tied to the "stuff" and, at least on a professional responsibility level, more interested in what humans create than in the humans themselves."
"But when it comes right down to a definition, the Society of American Archivists describe an archivist in this way: "An individual responsible for appraising, acquiring, arranging, describing, preserving, and providing access to records of enduring value, according to the principles of provenance, original order, and collective control to protect the materials’ authenticity and context." Indeed, archives work IS about the stuff."