Experiencing archives at universities: archivists, librarians, understanding, and collaboration

Wakimoto, Diana K., and Bruce, Christine Susan (2015) Experiencing archives at universities: archivists, librarians, understanding, and collaboration. Reference Services Review, 43 (2). pp. 182-198.

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Purpose: This paper aims to explore the varying ways in which academic archivists in the USA experience archives, how these experiences compare to those of academic librarians and how we can use these findings to improve communication and collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach: Using a phenomenographic research approach, academic archivists were interviewed and the transcripts were examined to develop categories reflecting varying experiences.

Findings: There are three different ways of experiencing archives: as organizational records, as archival enterprise and as connection. The connection category is a more complex way of experiencing archives as it incorporates the aspects of the other two categories as well as the awareness of archives connecting people to their histories.

Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to academic archivists in the USA.

Practical implications: Understanding that there are different ways of experiencing archives means that information professionals should clarify their definitions of before beginning collaborative projects. Also, by understanding these varying experiences, information professions should be able to communicate and engage more fully with each other and their users in projects and programs that leverage archival collections.

Originality/value: This is the first study to use phenomenography to investigate archivists’ experiences of archives. This understanding of the lived experience of archivists, combined with understanding how librarians experience archives, should enable better communication and ultimately collaboration between the two professions.

Item ID: 55424
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2054-1716
Keywords: librarians, universities, collaboration, communication, phenomenography, archivists
Copyright Information: Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2015
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 01:11
FoR Codes: 08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080706 Librarianship @ 100%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8903 Information Services > 890302 Library and Archival Services @ 100%
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