September 12: Archaeologies of the Archive

Scanning @ National Archives, 1961
The Municipal Archive, via NYC Dept of Records

FIELD TRIP: New York City Municipal Archives, w/ Marcia Kirk, Archives and Research Associate, NYC Department of Records and Information Services

  • Meet at 4:00 at 31 Chambers @ Centre St. Take 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge. Please bring picture ID.


Reading Summary Handout 

To provide some context for our field trip:  

Some canonical archival theory, and some insight into how archives work:



Ariella Azoulay, “Archive,” trans. Tal Haran, in Political Concepts: A Critical Lexicon 1 (2012); Antoinette Burton, “Introduction: Archive Fever, Archive Stories” in Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History, ed. Burton (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005): 1-24; Terry Cook, “What is Past is Prologue: A History of Archival Ideas Since 1898, and the Future Paradigm Shift,” Archivaria 43 (Spring 1997): 17-63; Wolfgang Ernst, Digital Memory and the Archive, Ed. Jussi Parikka (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming 2012); Arlette Farge, The Allure of the Archives, trans. Thomas Scott-Railton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013); Sigmund Freud, “A Note Upon the Mystic Writing Pad” (1925) In General Psychological Theory: Papers on Metapsychology (New York: Collier, 1925); Geert Lovink, Interview with German Media Archaeologist Wolfgang Ernst, Nettime (26 February 2003); Tim Maly, “Dark ArchivesContents 5 (March 2013); *D. T. Max, “Final Destination” New Yorker (June 2007) [on the Ransom Humanities Research Center]; Jussi Parikka, “Archive Dynamics: Software Culture and Digital Heritage” In What Is Media Archaeology? (Malden, MA: Polity, 2012): 113-122; Sven Spieker, “Freud’s Files” In The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2009): 34-49; Carolyn Steedman, “Something She Called a Fever: Michelet, Derrida, and Dust” The American Historical Review 106:4 (October 2001): 1159-1180; Kate Theimer, “A Distinction Worth Exploring: ‘Archives’ and ‘Digital Historical Representations,’” American Historical Association Conference, Washington, DC, January 3, 2014.

ON ARCHIVAL LABOR: Hillel Arnold, “Critical Work: Archivists as Maintainers,” Hillel Arnold (August 2, 2016); Michelle Caswell, “’The Archive is not an Archives’: Acknowledging the Intellectual Contributions of Archival Studies,” Reconstruction 16:1 (2016); Eira Tansey, “Archives Without Archivists,” Reconstruction 16:1 (2016) [on archival labor + processing].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.