ted by past, present, and prospective research use.... In reaching a decision they consider long-term needs for documentary sources and the potential demands of scholars."31 Yet such use-based approaches to defining the very nature of archives, Gerald Ham later objected, resulted in "a selection process [that was] so random, so fragmented, so uncoordinated, and even so often accidental[and one that] too often reflected narrow research interests rather than the broad spectrum of human experience. If we cannot transcend these obstacles," Ham warned, "then the archivist will remain at best nothing more than a weathervane moved by the changing winds of historiography."32 Worse yet, a use-based approach to archives removes records from their organic context within the activities of their creator and imposes criteria on both appraisal and description that are external to the record and its provenance.33 By so shifting the appraisal focus of archivists and the definition of archival value away from record-creating processes and record creators, advocates of use-defined appraisal ultimately reduce archival theory to "much ado about shelving," that is, to a few practical rules meant to supplement what is for them the key knowledge base for archivists: the historical subject content of records, recent historiography, and users' expectations and wishes.34 [30] Societal analysis and functional appraisal: towards a broader view of archives If archivists are not to appraise, acquire, and describe as archival records primari ly those that historians and other users want (as Schellenberg and his successors advocated); if archivists are not comfortable assuming that the records creator will be able to decide fairly what records to keep, beyond a very narrow range needed to meet the agency's legal obligations and short-term accountabilities (as Jenkinson recommended), what are archivists to do? Answers and alternative approaches have come from Germany, the United States, and Canada. Believing that archives should reflect more globally the society that creates them, these differing "societal approaches" explore new conceptions of archival theory and methodology. This perspective represents a fundamental change in the archival discourse from one based on the state to one reflecting the broader society that the state serves.35 Now, it may be said that archives are of the people, for the people, often even by the people.36 Perhaps the first major voice raised in favour of a new societal paradigm for archives was by Germany's Hans Booms, although Schellenberg's secondary values indirectly (and through historians' filters) also attempted to break the statist paradigm. Booms remains the most important thinker on the philosophi cal underpinnings of archival appraisal. Reacting against the worst excesses of the traditional archival statist approach, whereby the state's ideological values are imposed on the very definition of the archival record, Booms asserted that society must be allowed to define its own core values, and that these values should then be representatively mirrored through archival records. "If there is indeed anything or anyone qualified to lend legitimacy to archival appraisal," Booms wrote, "it is society itself, and the public opinions it expresses—assuming, of course, that these are allowed to develop freely. The public and public opinion," Booms observed, "...sanctions public actions, essentially generates the socio-political process, and legitimizes political authority. Therefore, should not public opinion also legitimize archival appraisal? Could it also not provide the fundamental orientation for the process of archival appraisal?"37 His essential insight was that society, not Schellenberg's specialized users and not Jenkinson's state administrators, must generate the values that define "importance" and therefore archival significance and archival retention. This led to the corollary that "archivists need to orient themselves to the values of the records' contem poraries, for whose sake the records were created." In 1991 Booms asserted that society's values were best identified not directly by research into societal dyna mics and public opinion, as he had earlier advocated, but indirectly through research into the functions of those key records creators designated by society to realize its needs and wishes. He asserted that "archivists require a useful analysis 45 ARCHIEFWETENSCHAP 31 Maynard J. Brichford, Archives and Manuscripts: Appraisal 6c Accessioning (Chicago, 1977), p. 13. Despite growing protests against this approach to archives, it continues, with explicit acknowledgement of Schellenberg's influence; see Elizabeth Lockwood, "'Imponderable Matters:' The Influence of New Trends in History on Appraisal at the National Archives," American Archivist 53 (Summer 1990), pp. 394-405. 32 F. Gerald Ham, "The Archival Edge," in Daniels and Walch, Modern Archives Reader, pp. 328-29. 33 For this reason especially, I have pointedly criticized the use-defined approach to archives: see Terry Cook, "Viewing the World Upside Down: Reflections on the Theoretical Underpinnings of Archival Public Programming," Archivaria 31 (Winter 1990-91), pp. 123-34; "Easy To Byte, Harder To Chew: The Second Generation of Electronic Records Archives," Archivaria 33 (Winter 1991-92), pp. 210-11; and "Mind Over Matter: Towards a New Theory of Archival Appraisal," in Craig, Archival Imagination, pp. 40-42, and passim. Almost all the writers on contemporary archival frameworks in the following paragraphs also reject, at least implicitly, use-defined appraisal to determine the actual composition of archives. More explicitly on the subject, see Eric Ketelaar, "Exploitation of New Archival Materials," Archivum 35 (1989), pp. 189-99.1 agree wholeheartedly with Ketelaar that archives should not be appraised and acquired to support use; once acquired, however, I certainly agree (and have advocated) that their description, referen ce, and diffusion should reflect client needs as far as possible. 34 That this utilitarian content-based approach would radically diminish, if not deny, the value of any archi val theory, is best revealed in John Roberts, "Archival Theory: Much Ado About Shelving," American Archivist 50 (Winter 1987), pp. 66-74; and "Archival Theory: Myth or Banality," American Archivist 53 (Winter 1990), pp. 110-20. The leading proponent of the use-based approach, Elsie T. Freeman (now Finch), also exemplifies this kind of thinking, when she dismisses traditional archival theory as mere "rules of order and practice (sometimes called principles);" see her "In the Eye of the Beholder: Archives Administration from the User's Point of View," American Archivist 47 (Spring 1984), pp. 112-13, 119. 44 TERRY COOK WHAT IS PAST IS PROLOGUE Note the title, which mirrors the content of Lawrence Dowler's "The Role of Use in Defining Archival Practice and Principles: A Research Agenda for the Availability and Use of Records," American Archivist 51 (Winter and Spring 1988), p. 74, and passim. For a supportive Canadian view of this largely United States perspective, see Gabrielle Blais and David Enns, "From Paper Archives to People Archives: Public Programming in the Management of Archives," Archivaria 31 (Winter 1990-91), pp. 101-13, and especially p. 109. For a countering Canadian view, challenging Roberts's assertions, see Terry Eastwood, "What is Archival Theory and Why is it Important," Archivaria 37 (Spring 1994), pp. 122-30, printed with two more responses by John Roberts in the same issue. 35 Oddo Bucci makes the same observation, in "Evolution of Archival Science," p. 35, and ff. 36 Abraham Lincoln's memorable phrase was first given an archival twist by Eric Ketelaar; see his "Archives of the People, By the People, For the People," South Africa Archives Journal 34 (1992), pp. 5-16. 37 Hans Booms, "Society and the Formation of a Documentary Heritage: Issues in the Appraisal of Archival Sources," Archivaria 24 (Summer 1987), (original 1972: translation by Hermina Joldersma and Richard Klumpenhouwer), p. 104. On the lack of legitimacy provided by Hegelian models based on a prediction of historical trends in society, or by the Schellenbergian dream of "a futurology of research interests," or by Marxist or other models using alleged "objective laws for social development," all of which models ignore the very "existential conditions of human existence," as well as the impossibility of ever knowing accurate ly what "society" is or means, see p. 100, and passim (pp. 69-107). For an amplification of Booms' views that records reflect or embody an "image" of society, see the work of his Bundesarchiv colleague, Siegfried Büttner, as described in Terry Cook, The Archival Appraisal of Records Containing Personal Information: A RAMP Study With Guidelines (Paris, 1991), pp. iv-v, 35-37; and inter alia through comments on Büttner's views by Hans Booms himself, "Uberlieferungsbildung: Keeping Archives as a Social and Political Activity," Archivaria 33 (Winter 1991-92), pp. 28-29.

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