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Global Archivalities Research Network

Project description:

The "Global Archivalities Network", a network that has been initiated by Randolph Head (University of Californa, Riverside), Arndt Brendecke (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) and Hilde de Weerdt (Kings College London) aims at the networking of researchers who are interested in an interdisciplinary and comparative history of the archive.

Homepage Global Archivalities Research Network


  • Workshop: Global Archivalities: A Conceptual Workshop
    May 7, 2013 from 9-11 AM (PDT), in: Riverside, CA, or via Adobe Connect (globally)

Archives play a fundamental role in historical research, yet archivality as a human cultural product subject to enormous variation – across cultural systems and across time – has received almost no comparative attention. We propose the formation of a collaborative network among humanistic scholars interested in investigating the formation, use, and representation of archives around the globe in the researchers with the necessary linguistic skills, epistemological approaches, this network will contribute to enriched research on various regions and topics.

Of equal importance,however, will be the project’s contribution to understanding how archival accumulation has shaped legal, political, memorial and not least historiographical expectations about the production and preservation of records in different cultural contexts. In light of the last half-century’s theoretical and methodological insights, it is no longer tenable to write scholarship from the archives without understanding the history of the archives.

The conceptual workshop on May 7 seeks to define more clearly the terrain that such a network and project will consider. Bringing together experts on diverse record-keeping traditions and from varying theoretical perspectives, we seek to promote shared understandings of the decisive theoretical and empirical issues that the comparative study of pre-modern archivality must address. A second goal is to highlight the many research opportunities that the comparative study of archivality can offer, and to help create a supportive network of junior as well as senior humanists that can promote such research. Scholars working on any part of the world where systematic recordkeeping took place are invited to participate.

The conference will be available for attendance or participation from the Internet using Adobe Connect. Those wishing to participate should contact Randolph Head ( for detailed program and log-in information.

9 AM PDT, Tuesday, May 7, 2013 [5 PM GMT-D, 6 PM MEZ-D]
Introduction of the Global Archivalities Network
Conceptual issues in defining 'archivality' across cultures and regions
Discussion of position paper, "Global Archivalities Before the Modern Era" (available at

For more information on the workshop and possibilities to participate see the networks's website.