What does the future hold for Archives and what do the archives hold for you?


By Bruce Jackson, published 1st December 2005

Most people would accept that our Society is changing at a rate, and in ways, with which our predecessors have never had to deal. The old stabilities and certainties seem to have disappeared from our modern day lives. Perhaps this is why so many people seem to be interested in the past, with the rise of innumerable history programmes of varying quality on television and articles in the media, and explains the spectacular rise in family history research. Archives offer us access to an apparently more unchanging world inhabited by our ancestors, and let us find a fixed point from which to take our bearings. Modern semioticians have a field day with the relevance of archives, and the frequency with which they appear in modern fiction is not co-incidental. But the reality is that "archives"– the records/information which are to be preserved for future generations of users – are changing along with the society that creates them.

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