Reviews of Books

Theodore Schellenberg, H. Fant, Lester Smith, Marguerite Pease, Lester Cappon, Raymond Flynn, William Benedon, Lester Born, Albert Hyman, Raymond Clark, David Duniway, Richard Wood
1954 The American Archivist  
Mark.) This volume, which in its subtitle modestly purports to be a mere contribution to the theory of European archival economy, contains a fairly exhaustive account of European archival developments and thinking. It is based upon lectures and papers left by the late Dr. Adolf Brenneke, who for many years was director of the Prussian Privy State Archives in Berlin-Dahlem. The ideas in these writings, which Brenneke formulated in the course of a lifetime of service as an archivist in Miinster,
more » ... ivist in Miinster, Danzig, Hannover, and Berlin, were worked over by his student Dr. Wolfgang Leesch, and were supplemented in various ways in order to embody views expressed in archival literature appearing since Brenneke's death in 1946. The volume is prefaced by a short biographical sketch of Brenneke and by a list of his writings. The main body of the book is divided into two parts, the first concerning itself with archival theory, and the second with archival history. In the part on archival theory are six chapters that deal successively with the basic concepts or terminology of the profession, the types of materials (considered from the point of view of their origins and organization) with which archivists must deal, the problems of accessioning and selection, the development of the theory and science of the profession, the conflict between the subject-matter and the provenance approach in handling archival materials, and the types of archival agencies that have developed in the course of history. Perhaps the most useful of these chapters to an American archivist is the one on the history of archival theory and science. In it is found a discussion of the practical-inductive principles of classification evolved in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the rational-deductive schemes of arrangement developed in the eighteenth century, the conflicting views of the various Prussian theoreticians on the functions and organization of an archival agency, and the development of the principle of provenance with its varying interpretations and applications during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The last of the theoretical chapters relates to the classification of archival agencies into various types. According to Brenneke the objective of archival history and science should be to ascertain how individual documents came into being and were brought together and how they ought to be brought together. Archival history, then, is a history of the form or the manner in which documents were accumulated and maintained. "Structure and tectonic,"
doi:10.17723/aarc.17.2.66394173g2248172 fatcat:5pdw2ll4zzgezi2hqoymgcvqwm