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Perfect present, perfect gift: finding a place for archival consciousness in social theory

Perfect present, perfect gift: finding a place for archival consciousness in social theory,10.1007/s10502-010-9118-x,Archival Science,Brien Brothman

Perfect present, perfect gift: finding a place for archival consciousness in social theory   (Citations: 1)
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In 1924, Canadian Dominion Archivist Arthur Doughty (1860–1936) characterized archives as “the gift of one generation to another.” This essay takes these words seriously. It sets aside the common habit of thinking of archival work in terms of “keeping” and “preserving” and experiments with—re-imagines—archives as a form of gift giving. However, as a growing body of scholarship across numerous disciplines is discovering, gift giving is a complex social act. Thus, construing archives as a form of gift opens up new avenues of critical inquiry into archives’ unique temporal consciousness and its importance to accounts of the establishment and unmaking of any social order. This article explores the nature of archival consciousness and its place in social theory.
Journal: Archival Science , vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 141-189, 2010
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