Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Archives in the New Yorker

Richard Cox has an excellent post over at Reading Archives about D.T. Max's New Yorker piece on the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas-Austin (mentioned here). He notes that the major focus of Max's article is on acquisitions, and outlines a few of what he calls "disturbing aspects" of the discussion (including what seems to be a palpable distaste for writings in digital form).

Cox concludes that while articles like this provide "good information to the public about what archives and archivists are about," the positives are "weakened because there is no discussion of other archival issues, such as why cooperative approaches might not be better or if there ought to be some consideration of the ethical aspects of such collecting as well."