Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions and the Writing of History

This week’s reading gave an in depth look into the many facets of archival management. In a compilation of archival studies from India to South Africa, Antoinette Burton has captured a sense of the global scope in history’s cornerstone. Historians, as well as other disciplines rely heavily on the accuracy and availability of “traces of the past collected either intentionally or haphazardly as ‘evidence’.”(3) Due to the digitized nature of society, there has been a reliance on the ability to research via internet, as well as traditionally. Although, there is a wealth of information available on the internet, it must be verified in a conventional and tedious manner. The reason lies with the ever changing amounts of information available in cyberspace. There may be an abundance of information stored on a variety of websites and database, however, the legitimacy of these sources drastically shortens the list.
How to deal with these issues? Renee’ Sentilles offers to historians to reconsider the mastering all major material on a subject. Academicians have often implied a comprehensive knowledge of primary and secondary sources on a particular topic. In a more practical sense, however, Sentilles suggest historians change the concept of being a specialist to a more interactive and engaging approach. (142)
Cyberspace archival research offers a balance of efficiency and thoroughness. Both historians and students are required to carefully analyze the information provided via the internet, as well as compile viable resources into publishable contributions. Technological advances have forced many to side with the sensibility of balance between wealth of information and validity of sources.

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