an eclectic collection of images and documents of the library, archive, and information management profession
"In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville noted that there was scarcely a plowman In America who did not have a book or a broadsheet newspaper fastened between the handles of his plow so that he could read as he tediously trod the rows of earth turned by his prairie cutter plows. It was a time when books were expensive and hard to get, yet they were widely shared and much discussed by Americans of all classes. Today, I am told by book marketers that about half of all American households never buy a book in any given year. " -Joe Bageant, 4/3/2007
office was so low that people avoided me. One of my tasks was to
register the names of people who came to read newspapers, but to most
of them I did not exist as a human being."
Professional links and news
Progressive Librarians Guild Community of Industrial Relations Librarians (CIRL)
- check out Urban
Librarians Unite -
"a professional group created to promote and support libraries, library staff, and librarianship in urban settings."
The New Archives for American Labor: From Attic to Digital Shop Floor, 2007, by Ben Blake
Articles, essays, and other documents by/about Lincoln Cushing
Letter in American Archivist, (Society of American Archivists) Spring/Summer 2014
The debate between Greene and Jimerson (and Caswell) [about social justice activism and archives] was a good starting point on the subject. But rather than quibble with the points made, I thought I’d comment on an issue not raised.
First, full disclosure. I’m a partisan archivist who simultaneously wears several hats, including a corporate archives job and a decidedly noncorporate public museum job. This is a second career, and my first exposure to the politics of the field was Sanford Berman’s essential critique of Library of Congress Subject Headings. I thought, great, some good minds and big hearts here.
But my reluctant observation from over fourteen years in the profession is that exhorting archivists to take up the torch of social justice won’t make much of a difference. Smart, committed, and capable people, yes, but I believe that few work in archives to change the world. I’ve found very few political allies in the field, and even fewer in the professional associations.
I’ve been part of a Progressive Archivists listserv within SAA since 2008, and it bumps along with almost no member traffic. After Jimerson’s Archives Power came out in 2010, Kate Theimer started what I saw as a noble effort to invigorate the debate—an online book discussion group. Initial membership was 80—80!—but chapter by chapter, members and conversation dwindled to less than a handful. “Lurkers” may all have their reasons, but the net conclusion I draw is that this is not a profession of activists.
I’ve made my peace with that. I’m happy to jump into a good fight (e.g., The American Archivist’s “Sun Mad” poster cover [Fall/Winter 2003] or defense of Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold) and engage in private discussions, but I’m not expecting my brother and sister archivists to agree about the merits of politically informed and active archival craft. All I can do is publicize that path and hope they do the right thing when push comes to shove.
Archivist and author
"A librarian champions political poster art," Library Journal Academic Newswire, 5/31/2007
LAUC-B Position on Retention of Librarian Positions at UC Berkeley 6/26/2006
Cutting-edge information management technology - from 1904
Unprocessed social movement collections at UC Berkeley - 6/2006
Review of flatbed scanner with unique applications for special collections
Speech at rally supporting public libraries in Salinas, CA, 2005
"California Librarian: LIncoln Cushing," California Libraries, January 24, 2004
Review of Vandals in the Stacks? A Response to Nicholson Baker's Assault on Libraries
Clark Kerr collection donated to IIR Library, commemorative bookplate issued
"Taking a Stand in Information Management"- U.C. Berkeley SIMS (now I-School) graduation speech 5/12/2001 (PDF)
"Call for Papers," Modern Industrial Papermaking and its Consequences for Librarians and Archivists
Protection of images on the Web
samples from my archive of library and literacy graphics
Chinese archives during the Great Proletarian Cultural
Accordingly, the Cultural Revolution did not wreak permanent damage on archival holdings in the palace. But work was halted, resuming only slowly. The internal-circulation record of advisories and rules for archival work shows only one document (in 1967) for the entire Cultural Revolution era. More important was the fact that in the midst of the turmoil, directives had forbidden the Red Guards to disturb archival installations. This limited damage and spared the holdings ('On Looting of Files 1980,' in Hinton 3:321). "
-Beatrice S. Bartlett, “A world-class archival achievement: the People’s Republic of China archivists’ success in opening the Ming-Qing central-government archives, 1949–1998” Archival Science (2007) 7.
University library- University of Durham, England, 2002; Public library- King's Lynn, England, 2002
return to Docs Populi, Lincoln
last updated 4/21/2021