”Sidan startade 1618” : Riksarkivets och några landsarkivs självpresentation på Facebook under 2014
Sammanfattning: This master’s thesis explores the self-presentation of the Swedish national archives as well as the regional state archives of Härnösand, Vadstena, and Visby on Facebook during 2014. The thesis applies Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, augmented by Meyrowitz’ ideas about the “middle region” as well as marketing theory as formulater by Kotler and Keller, to understand the different aspects of this self-presentation on social media. The thesis posits that the archives mainly try to portray themselves as competent institutions in charge of their collections, while at the same time in possession of the knowledge required to understand and safeguard these collections. The author also concludes that the archives try to maintain a façade of being historical institutions (rather than intrinsically modern ones), presenting a view of history that claims that history is a strange land that cannot be fully comprehended by a modern audience. An analysis of the contents of the archives’ posts indicates that they only cater to a few areas in Sweden, despite being parts of the “national” archives of Sweden. The main audience seems to be genealogists. The thesis also studies the methods by which the archives employ “suppression management” to distance themselves from critique or challenges to their façade of all-knowingness. A chapter is also devoted to the question of whether the archives use Facebook as a complement to their regular facilities and home pages, or whether social media is used as an outreach tool in its own right. The thesis concludes with a small quantitative study of the geographical and chronological distribution of those posts that contain digitized archival material, as well as the number of posts containing comments and links to outside of Facebook.
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