1st Edition

Michael Moss on Archives Beyond the Four Corners of the Page

    260 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Michael Moss on Archives brings together selected outputs from an internationally renowned archival scholar, who explored the theory and practice of archives and records management.

    Comprising a selection of 11 of Moss’ most significant archival writings, the book demonstrates the development of his thinking in archival theory and practice over the past 20 years. Michael Moss was a towering figure in modern archival writing and was able to push the boundaries of the discipline, notably with his analysis of how modern governments create records and his speculations about the future of the archive in the digital world. Bringing together in one place Moss’ most significant writings, alongside a comprehensive bibliography, this book documents a significant contribution to British and international archival theory and practice. Each essay is preceded by a critical introduction, written by a leading archival scholar, assessing the piece and setting it in a wider archival or historical context, while an overall introduction by the editors provides biographical information and describes the development of Michael’s archival thinking.

    Michael Moss on Archives will be of interest to scholars and students engaged in the study of archival science, library and information science, history, digital humanities, and media studies. It should also be of interest to professionals who work in archives and records management.


    From Whisky to Nelson by Way of Brussel Sprouts: The Contribution of Michael Moss (1947-2021)

    Julie McLeod, Andrew Prescott, Susan Stuart and David Thomas


    1.     The scent of the slow hound and the snap of a bull-dog - the place of research in the archival profession

    By Michael S. Moss with Introduction by Michael Piggott


    2.     The Hutton Inquiry, the President of Nigeria and what the butler hoped to see?

    By Michael S. Moss with Introduction by Sarah Tyacke


    3.     Privileging information is inevitable

    By James Currall, Michael Moss & Susan Stuart with Introduction by Eric Ketelaar


    4.     The archives of business and the business of archives

    By Michael S. Moss with Introduction by Vicki Wilkinson


    5.     Choreographed encounter: The archive and public history

    By Michael Moss with Introduction by Nick Barrett


    6.     Authenticity: A red herring?

    By James E.P. Currall, Michael S. Moss, Susan A.J. Stuart with Introduction by James Lowry


    7.     Opening Pandora’s Box - What is an archive in the digital environment?

    By Michael S. Moss with Introduction by Lale Özdemir


    8.     Overlapping temporalities? The judge, the historian and the citizen

    By Michael Moss and David Thomas with Introduction by Andrew Prescott


    9.     Our digital legacy: An archival perspective

    By Michael S. Moss and Tim J. Gollins with Introduction by Iyra S. Buenrostro


    10.  How the file was invented

    By Michael Moss and David Thomas with Introduction by Paul Lihoma


    11.  The four corners of the page and the digital record

    By Michael Moss and David Thomas with Introduction by Darra Hofman


    12.  Select Bibliography of the Writings of Michael Stanley Moss


    Julie McLeod is Professor Emerita in Records Management at Northumbria University. She has lead multidisciplinary research projects on digital records management and developed innovative records management and information governance education initiatives with leading national and international organisations

    Andrew Prescott is Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Glasgow and was from 2012-19 AHRC Theme Leader Fellow for the AHRC ‘Digital Transformations’ theme. From 1979 to 2000 he was a Curator of Manuscripts at the British Library, where he worked on the Electronic Beowulf project. He has also worked in libraries and digital humanities units at the University of Sheffield, King's College London and University of Wales Lampeter. 

    Susan Stuart’s research is primarily in the area of hermeneutic philosophy and centres on developing the notion of enkinaesthesia as a transcendental condition for the very possibility of conscious experience. Stuart worked with Michael Moss on a number of ground breaking articles in which they applied the concepts and methods of philosophy to archival questions.

    David Thomas was Visiting Professor at Northumbria University and spent most of his career at the UK National Archives where he was Director of Technology. He was educated at London University and did a PhD in Tudor history under Conrad Russell. He researches and writes in the fields of archives and history.