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Interdisciplinarity and Archives

Call for Participants

Abstract Deadline: 15 November 2019

Guest Editors

Dr. Craig Gauld, Lecturer in Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee, Scotland

Archives and Records

Archives and Records deals with matters of interest to archivists, archive conservators and records managers, as well as to all involved in the study and interpretation of archives.

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

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Those of us working as archival practitioners and educators know that interdisciplinarity is the new orthodoxy. In the twenty-first century, archival science is bigger than just the archive and its practitioners. In 2010, Anne Gilliland and Kelvin White wrote that:

The area of archival studies today transcends the professional field of archival science. It encompasses an ever-broadening array of disciplinary discussions and methodological approaches that are identifying, critiquing and addressing the shifting social, cultural, philosophical, and political, as well as the technological, imperatives of recordkeeping and remembering in the twenty-first century.[1]

Gilliland and White were articulating a direction of travel within archival science which had emerged, or gathered pace, around the mid-1970s when practitioners and theorists began incorporating a confluence of cultural ideas around human sexuality, women’s rights, ethnicity and traditional modes of authority and power relations that moved away from prevalent cultural mores. Archival writing incorporated ideas from other disciplines such as politics and philosophy to critique and overhaul archival practice in order to bring it closer to society. Today, this trend has continued and more recently archival science has looked to information technology to help manage the issues raised for the profession by the digital environment. Therefore, increasingly archival literature seeks to incorporate ideas from other disciplines to inform or modify traditional or existing archival practice.  

Looking outwards, in order to learn from other disciplines, is obviously invaluable and, in doing so, the profession has benefited. Yet at a time when the archival profession is operating within extreme technological, societal and financial pressures it can be argued that we should also look to what we do to add value to the professional practice of others. We must evidence our own success in enhancing practice external to our traditional professional borders and engage other voices, other champions, who can communicate on our behalf to illustrate how what we do enriches their work. This special edition of Archives and Records: Interdisciplinarity and Archives seeks those advocates and examples by inviting contributions that display:

  • The practical use, importance and value of archives across disciplinary and professional-practice boundaries, many of which are not traditionally associated with information professionals
  • The areas in which other disciplines can assist us moving forward to deal with important recordkeeping challenges of the twenty-first century.

Such contributions across disciplinary and professional lines will:

  • Enable a fuller understanding and awareness to emerge of the role archives play in enriching a wide range of organisations, disciplines and individuals;
  • Reinvigorate our debate and practice, by applying the theory and approaches of other disciplines to archival science
  • Provide archival leaders and practitioners with a range of examples that can be utilised to confidently advocate on the reach of what we do; and the worth of our professional actions and activity beyond the narrow confines of our profession.

[1] K.L. White & A.J. Gilliland, ‘Promoting Reflexivity and Inclusivity in Archival Education, Research, and Practice’ The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy Vol. 80, No. 3 (July 2010) pp. 231-248

How to submit an abstract

Prospective authors are welcome to contact the Guest Editor, in order to discuss proposed articles for this special issue of Archives and Records scheduled for publication in Jan/Feb 2021.


Please send a 300-word proposal to the Guest Editor Dr. Craig Gauld by 15 November 2019. Authors of accepted proposals will be invited by 15 December 2019 to submit a completed article through the Journal’s online system.

Completed drafts of articles will be due on 30 June 2020. An invitation to submit an article does not guarantee publication in the final issue.  All submissions will be double blind peer-reviewed and should be presented in line with the Archives and Records Instructions for Authors.