Article ID: CBB636301242

Introduction (2023)


Archives are powerful. On this, at least, historians agree. But when it comes to why they are so powerful and how that power should be used, a great deal is up for debate. Some see the archive as the bedrock of empirical work; if not objective, the archive is as close as we can get to a shared source base from which to tell authoritative histories. To others, the archive’s power is wielded by those who assemble and oversee it—sometimes, against those whose names and lives appear within its boxes. Archives are fetishized and feared, at times by the same people; their boundaries can be policed with vigor or rendered porous through critique. But at the end of the day, they are powerful—and that is what keeps people coming back year after year, attempting to draw out their secrets or tear down their walls. It is almost harder to imagine history without the archive than to imagine a world without history.

Includes Series Articles

Article Parisa Vaziri (2023) Tracing Absence. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 106-108). unapi

Article Ashanti Shih (2023) Talking Story with the Archives. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 102-105). unapi

Article Elyse Semerdjian (2023) Archival Wounds. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 97-101). unapi

Article Zoé Samudzi (2023) Haunted by Denial. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 94-96). unapi

Article Amrah Salomón J. (2023) Drawing on the Difuentes. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 91-93). unapi

Article Taylor M. Moore (2023) The Cool Air. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 86-90). unapi

Article Elise A. Mitchell (2023) On Slavery, Medicine, Speculation, and the Archive. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 82-85). unapi

Article Aja M. Lans (2023) Bioarchaeology of the Self. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 79-81). unapi

Article Rosanna Dent (2023) Stolen Masks. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 76-78). unapi

Article Eram Alam (2023) Citing the Unsaid. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (pp. 73-75). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Salomón J., Amrah
Aleguas, Shirley A.
Patrick Egan
Dent, Rosanna
Katherine McKittrick
Vaziri, Parisa
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Polhem: Tidskrift för Teknikhistoria
Kexue Jishu yu Bianzhengfa (Science, Technology, and Dialectics)
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Rutgers University Press
Manchester University Press
Duke University Press
Historical method
Libraries and archives
Research methods
History of science, as a discipline
Maybury-Lewis, David
Mahfouz, Naguib
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
18th century
Early modern
20th century, early
Cairo (Egypt)
Indian Ocean
United States
Pitt Rivers Museum (University of Oxford)

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