Archivists and Research Use

William Joyce
1984 The American Archivist  
The primary purpose of archives is cultural, and it is the research value of documentation that invests this essentially cultural purpose with substance and significance. As custodians of the collective memory, archivists best achieve this purpose by identifying these values in documents and by promoting their research use. This essay considers how archivists best exercise this responsibility: by doing research on the collections in their care; by drawing on scholars for assistance in reaching
more » ... ppraisal decisions; by preparing more analytical and evaluative finding aids; by developing better index terms for access to records; by knowing more about researchers who use their materials and by understanding better what their needs are; by understanding the risk posed by premature access to records; and by understanding how outreach assists archivists in promoting the best possible research use of their holdings.
doi:10.17723/aarc.47.2.u0675r6x8577470w fatcat:itmazesgqbhyhkvdak2ynpx37a