What is an Archive Blog? This should be a crucial question as the growing field of “blogs about archives” offers up posts stretching from the recent SAA conference to South Carolina Gamecocks. Perhaps it would it be helpful to make a distinction between official blogs relating to news and services from archival repositories and personal blogs written by people who happen to work in archives? The ‘2.0‘ world tends to unite people with common interests on general topics, bringing computer users together and allowing for the positive information sharing models. However, archives are used by a wide range of people such as academics of all types, journalists, art researchers, genealogists, authors, archaeologists, etc. who search for answers and uncover stories in collections of materials described and organized by archivists. I understand this is a very simplistic interpretation of the function of archives but still I wonder if it is in the best interest of archives to consider ‘Archive Blogs’ to be blogs written by archivists only? Using blogs to create additional information to finding aids seems to me to be a legitimate purpose of an ‘archives blog,’ but apart from the Polar Bear Expedition Club I haven’t seen too much experimentation with blog-like technology and collection description. Perhaps I need to keep searching for an someone crazy enough to be making Finding Aids 2.0.
Anyway, to repeat to myself, I ask again just what is an Archive Blog? What is the role of blogs in archivists lives? I could ask this question in a thousand different ways and each answer would be as important as the next. I have witnessed how blogging tends to suck the life out of people as they turn from multidimensional humans into single-minded RSS feeds. Blogging deserves a large amount of criticism even from those who do partake in it, as a technology it rests on flimsy foundations of emerging, changing tools and only a slim representation of people find time to write them. Constructive criticism is just and no matter how much I think blogging is purile, I still can’t help from posting these silly notes. Back to archives, I fear that it’s almost absurd to consider ‘blogs about archives’ in anyway capable of truly reflecting the nature and significance of the documents contained in archives and that it would be somewhat of a blunder on the part of anyone truly committed to the collection and preservation of historical materials in any serious way to closely link themselves with fleeting phenomena such as Blogger, Moveable Type, Technorati or WordPress. However, I might be wrong and should have rather spent the last 4-6 minutes cutting and pasting odd facts into the computer such as how yesterday I saw our uncataloged document, Examination of Tittuba the Indian Woman, 1692.