Archival History Section Chair’s Letter

Fall 2019


It is a privilege to serve you as chair of the Archival History Section, and to work with steering committee members and editorial staff so devoted to the work of promoting the history of archives and archival institutions. As a university archivist, my focus is largely on institutional history. This has been reflected in my research and writing, which has explored the impact of library and archives programs (and individual archivists) on our researchers and patrons. Some examples of this work include:

  • “The Old Guard and Rearguard Actions: Professionalization and the Church Historian’s Office,” Journal of Mormon History 45, no. 1 (2019)
  • “The Church Library Coordinating Committee and the Correlation of Meetinghouse Libraries,” BYU Studies Quarterly 56, no. 3 (2017)
  • “The Development and Professionalization of the Utah State Archives, 1897-1968,” Journal of Western Archives (2012), (with Gordon Daines)

It is perhaps for this reason that I am so excited about the section’s current work to expand access to the institutional histories of archival programs. The Crowdsourced Special Collections and/or University Archives Histories’ Web Review project, spearheaded by Eric Stoykovich. Work on this project is continuing, and I would encourage section members to join in where possible.

Looking back at last year, I would like to thank Alex Poole and the rest of the section leadership for their work. The section meeting at SAA’s conference in Austin featured Stephen Mielke from the Harry Ransom Center, who provided a wonderful discussion of that institution’s history. We were also able to recognize Heather Wolfe and Peter Stallybrass, the winners of the second annual Archival History Award. Their article, “The Material Culture of Record-Keeping in Early Modern England,” is an excellent example of the scholarship being done on archives, and I look forward to seeing what work will be published this coming year.

As we move forward into 2020, I hope that you will remain engaged with the section and contribute where you can. Archival History News will provide updates on the section’s plans, and we encourage you to consider submitting to the site about your projects and research as well.  I look forward to collaborating with you this year in promoting archival history.


Cory Nimer
Chair, Archival History Section

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