1st Edition

Respect for Authority
Authority Control, Context Control, and Archival Description

Edited By

Jean Dryden

ISBN 9780789035905
Published April 14, 2008 by Routledge
196 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Groundbreaking ideas in archival description and control

Archival authority control is an often ambiguous label that embraces a potentially wide scope. In this active and quickly-evolving field, new methods of clarification are essential for successful archive management. The articles in Respect for Authority: Authority Control, Context Control, and Archival Description offer an innovative approach by marking and exploring a clear distinction between conventional archival authority files and the broader concept of context control.

Intended to not only answer important questions but raise worthy new ones as well, Respect for Authority: Authority Control, Context Control, and Archival Description reveals striking new perspectives in managing archival description more effectively. The engaging essays in this collection tackle key issues of archive authority control and offer sound proposals for advancing a new course. Comprehensive in its approach, this text takes an in-depth look at both the International Standard for Archival Authority Records (ISAAR) and the American standard, Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS) and considers the place of authority control in these two standards for archival description. In addition, contributors offer practical answers to the thorny issue of identifying the boundaries of a records-creating entity and present criteria for determining when a new entity is established. International in scope, this book presents groundbreaking case studies by archive professionals from Canada, the United States, Italy, and Australia that document the successes of different institutional applications that describe the records-creator first and then link this description to that of the records themselves.

Respect for Authority: Authority Control, Context Control, and Archival Description also includes expert discussions of:

  • the role of standards
  • the nature of archives and their relationships with their creators
  • resources necessary to fully document contextualized content
  • the power of provenance
  • possibilities available through a trinity of descriptive entities—records, agents, and functions
  • the potential of “provenance rediscovery” in American repositories
  • postmodern archive theory, multiple provenance, and the reconceptualization of archive context
  • using ISAAR to document records-creating environments
  • challenges inherent in implementing series-based systems of arrangement and description
  • the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Archival Resource Catalog (ARC)
  • digitizing and publishing registers and the development of the Online Heritage Resource Manager (OHRM)
  • and many more!
Ideal for archive professionals, manuscript librarians, students, and researchers of archival administration, Respect for Authority: Authority Control, Context Control, and Archival Description not only resolves important questions revealed by these new trends but opens new discussions of a major shift in descriptive practice.

Table of Contents

  • From Authority Control to Context Control (Jean Dryden)
  • Harnessing the Power of Provenance in Archival Description: An Australian Perspective on the Development of the Second Edition of ISAAR(CPF) (Adrian Cunningham)
  • Pathways to Provenance: DACS and Creator Descriptions (Larry Weimer)
  • Moving Beyond the Name: Defining Corporate Entities to Support Provenance-Based Access (Michelle Light)
  • The Role of Archival Authority Records in the Finding Aid System of the Archives of Ontario (Steve Billinton)
  • Authority Control at the National Archives and Records Administration (Lydia J. E. Reid and C. Jerry Simmons)
  • Authority Control for Creators in Italy: Theory and Practice (Maurizio Savoja and Stefano Vitali)
  • Mapping the Socio-Technical Complexity of Australian Science: From Archival Authorities to Networks of Contextual Information (Gavan McCarthy and Joanne Evans)
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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