Arkivet och livet : Det personliga arkivmaterialets karaktär och bevarande
Sammanfattning: This Master’s thesis explores the inherent character traits of personal archival material such as diaries, letters, and photographs, as well as the motivations underlying the preservation of such material. The focus of this study is such personal archival material produced by, or connected to, people whose lives are not celebrated or considered to be of obvious interest to academia or the public. The material basis of this thesis consists of interviews with archivists working at different cultural heritage institutions. The interviews are analysed through the framework of four archival paradigms as laid out by Terry Cook, as well as existing research in the field of personal archives. Firstly, the thesis explores the issue of selection and appraisal of personal archival material, concluding that the lack of a national framework makes the individual archivist an important actor not only in preserving such material, but in the preservation of cultural heritage in general. The study then identifies certain traits that characterize personal archival material: the unique presence of an individual’s own voice, distinguishing it from other kinds of archival material, as well as a particular suitability for the use of storytelling and historical research. Lastly, the thesis raises the question of changing attitudes towards personal archival material over time, such as an increased interest in the inner lives of individuals and a growing awareness of social representation.
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