Eddy Put: What's in a Title? — Aboutness versus Intellectual Form in Archival Description[1]

published under CC-BY-SA license

Abstract

The special relationship between form and content, its archival representation and the way researchers deal with the opacity of archival material are known archival cruxes. Archivists are confronted with the limits of accessibility when they describe items in a purely formal way (accounts, sentence registers, notarial deeds, etc). The emergence of an online research context has made this problem even more pressing. Sophisticated finding aids and powerful search engines very often create the highly deceptive illusion that researchers can have the content of millions of sources immediately at their fingertips. But archivists do not always succeed in bridging the gap between their formal descriptions and the content–based questions of researchers. The following text discusses the challenge and possible approaches of creating archival descriptions in the era of search engines and databases, especially for early modern serial archives.


 

 

Introduction

The special relationship between form and content, its archival representation and the way researchers deal with the opacity of archival material are old archival cruxes. Archivists are confronted with the limits of accessibility when they describe items in a purely formal way (accounts, sentence registers, notarial deeds, etc). Their inventories only mention an intellectual form and a long list of numbers of archival items with their chronological reach. Researchers frequently neglect these archival items, but more importantly, traditional finding aids fail to highlight these important backbone series.

The emergence of an online research context has made this problem even more pressing. Sophisticated finding aids and powerful search engines very often create the highly deceptive illusion that researchers can have the content of millions of sources immediately at their fingertips. Users do not succeed in translating their research questions into 'archival questions'. While consulting a finding aid, they do not recognize record types and therefore, often overlook crucial information. This is particularly the case for early modern serial archives. Archivists do not always succeed in bridging the gap between their formal descriptions and the content-based questions of researchers. In short, the misunderstanding of archival representation and its limits are often a serious burden on historical research.[2] Knowledge of record types seems to be the only, albeit difficult, way out. As Yakel and Torres point out "Understanding the nature of the representational relationship between surrogates and primary sources is a central dimension of researcher expertise"[3].

 

Intellectual form: an indication of content?

The words we use to describe record types have been coined by diplomatics. Luciana Duranti defines form' as "the complex of the rules of representation used to convey a message, that is, as the characteristics of a document which can be separated from the determination of the particular subject or places it concerns"[4]. It derives from the activity and the procedure that lead to the creation of the document. Form is physical as well as intellectual. A document's external make–up determines its physical form. The Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology describes intellectual form as "the sum of a record's formal attributes that represent and communicate the elements of the action in which the record is involved and of its immediate context, both documentary and administrative"[5]. The General International Standard Archival Description (ISAD(G)) comes close to this in its definition of 'form' as "a class of documents distinguished on the basis of common physical (eg, water colour, drawing) and/or intellectual (eg, diary, journal, day book, minute book) characteristics of a document"[6]. The two related meanings of the term 'record type' reflect the same distinction between physical and intellectual form.[7] In this article, the term 'intellectual form' is used when referring to a 'record type' as "a distinctive class of records defined by their function or use" (eg baptismal records, deeds and accounting ledgers).

Archivists are advised to use the most specific or appropriate form.[8] The science of diplomatics has developed thesauruses of — especially medieval — intellectual forms[9]; archivists have followed the same path and have included early modern and modern record types[10], but there is still much work to be done.

It is important to recall that intellectual forms are used in descriptions of items, in descriptions of series and in general 'scope and content' notes about record groups. In the first case, they appear free–standing or in combination with content–based information. In serial archives, intellectual forms are prominent, as they determine the series and thus often the main structure of the records group. In these cases, formal descriptions often cover the majority, consisting of up to 90 percent of the items described in a finding aid. Finally, in scope and content notes, intellectual forms are linked to the creator of the archives and its functions or activities.

The tension between form and content is an old crux. Duranti firmly distinguishes between content and form: form is hard to define, but it is definitely different from content.[11] Several authors have insisted on the importance of intellectual form as an access point. Zinkham, Cloud and Mayo emphasized that form, genre, and physical characteristics are not only basic elements in the description of archival material, but can also be employed as "a powerful retrieval tool that is only beginning to be exploited"[12]. Heather MacNeil insisted that intellectual form and subject should be distinguished and assigned to separate fields.[13]

Archival search engines deliver a cascade of — relevant and irrelevant — information on names of places and people, but remain painfully silent (or give only scattered information) when asked, for instance, for 18th–century diaries, ships' logs, commonplace books or other specific record types. Form should be recognized as a basic attribute of records and, as a consequence, also as an access point. The archival know–how and all the necessary hyperlinks and navigation tools, which are needed to realise this, are available.

Bearman insists on the fact that content–based unlocking of archives is doomed to fail. Archives, as the result of activities and functions, cannot be reduced to simple topics, as well–phrased as they may be.[14] Most archivists are aware of this difficulty in archival description. But do they pay attention to its consequences for the retrieval of information, and do they make sure that their users are well–informed on this issue?

The emergence of electronic records led to a re–discovery of the importance of diplomatics.[15] Archivists as well as archival researchers need to have a thorough knowledge of the typological wealth of record types when they assess the relationship between records and their representations in finding aids. One final definition expresses the special link between form and content in a rather optimistic way: "Terms that indicate the documentary form(s) (eg minutes, diaries, reports, watercolours, documentaries) provide the user with an indication of the content [author's italics] of the materials based on an understanding of the common properties of particular document types"[16].

This seems to be a very optimistic point of view. Almost all readers will of course recognize an entry mentioning a 'diary', but intellectual forms, such as 'remission letters' or 'matriculation books' are far more technical and hermetic. Remission letters are one of the most fascinating record types in late medieval and early modern Europe.[17] In order to obtain pardon, offenders of murder or manslaughter had to describe in detail how and why they committed their crime. The remission letters, granted by the king or his council and recounting these narratives, constitute an incredibly rich documentation on daily life in early modern Europe. Researchers, who are not familiar with the term, will not pay any attention to these descriptions for the simple reason they do not know which reality is hidden behind them.

This argument also applies to matriculation books in university archives.[18] Occasional visitors with a biographical interest who consult the index of the finding aid may find one or two direct references to the person they are studying, but they might miss the crucial information in the matriculation books, because they do not know the record type, which is formally described in the finding aid.

In conclusion, mentioning the intellectual form could give an indication of the content, but this supposes a detailed knowledge of the typological profusion of archival forms most patrons do not have.

 

Description as revelation

The development of descriptive standards and the postmodern deconstruction of traditional finding aids have recently brought about many thought provoking articles on archival description.[19] The archival world took time for a profound reflection on the inevitably selective and incomplete nature of archival representation. The notion of impartiality of descriptive work has been revised. Finding aids are not the neutral apparatus that we presumed them to be. On the other hand, this debate has stimulated the archival world to rediscover and re–appreciate the core of archival expertise (and to put it in the perspective of postmodern criticism). Capitalizing on the connection between intellectual form and content should lie at the heart of this reflection.

Three one–liners in an impetuous but very inspiring article by Verne Harris and Wendy Duff summarize postmodern criticism of traditional archival description: "every representation, every model of description, is biased because it reflects a particular world view and is constructed to meet specific purposes"[20]; "No representation can be complete"; "Each archivist must decide what information about which records to highlight"[21].

Archival description entails deliberate decisions about the representation of documents. Discerning which content to highlight is highly subjective, while the description of the intellectual form as the root of archival representation is not. When archivists use the contemporary term 'cartulary' in describing a medieval cartulary, they do not add meaning. In describing the intellectual form, they reveal the generality of content commonly possessed by the record type. In determining the archival item in a professional way, they give evidence of a sound archival expertise. Formal descriptions of remission letters, accounts, baptismal registers, sentence books etc. are unbiased and as complete as they can be. These formal descriptions have a completely different title than the analytical descriptions, mentioning names and subjects (often in a rather arbitrary way). There is hardly any descriptive margin. The collection of remission letters in the archives of the Privy Council in the Spanish Netherlands is described as follows:

894–1073. Remission letters, 1540–1702. 179 boxes[22]

This formal description is technical and poor, but fair and complete in its formal nakedness. The archives of the Chambre des Comptes in the Brussels State Archives provide another example underlining this point. This body of archives, approximately four kilometres long, formed by the central financial administration of the Habsburg Netherlands, consists almost exclusively of accounts of various kinds: thousands of documents rendered by tax officers, land agents and local authorities between the 15th and 18th centuries. L.P. Gachard and his collaborators thoroughly, though only formally, described them in six impressive volumes.[23] For example:[24]

§ 6. Bruges: city accounts

32.461 – 32.493. 2 September 1406 – 2 September 1440.
32.494 – 32.535. 2 September 1441 – 1 September 1483.
32.536 – 32.566. 2 September 1484 – 2 September 1513.
etc  

If 21st century archivists had to describe these items again, they would deliver a product that is very similar to the 'old–fashioned' approach of Gachard. Eventually, they would add some scope and content notes, but the core of their descriptions would be exactly the same: formal descriptions (mentioning the form, the name of the accountable officer/agency and the chronological scope of the documents) almost without any indication of content; no trace of the millions of names of places or persons mentioned in these accounts. The main conclusion of such an experiment — yet to be carried out — would be that there is some kind of 'objective' common ground in archival description.

At this point, two remarks must be made:

Even the formal description of archival items still leaves room for some descriptive margins: different names are used to describe the same form; there is hardly any attention given to a controlled vocabulary of intellectual forms.

The debate about arbitrariness in archival description is crucial. Descriptive standards create the illusion that a watertight, standardized description is always possible. I readily subscribe to the plea of Duff and Harris for more creativity[25], but on the other hand, they fail to appreciate the stability of formal descriptions, in which the individual freedom of description is next to nothing. The more formal the description is, the smaller the freedom and the more complete the description will be. This paradox is due to the nature of archives.

 

Titles and the special nature of archival information

Recent descriptive standards have strongly insisted on the importance of the context in which archives are born and in which they should be understood. Creators of archives and their functions are described according to the International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families (ISAAR (CPF)) and the International Standard for Describing Functions (ISDF). Of course this "thick description" is an important step forward: the (administrative) context and the structure of archives are crucial for their understanding.

But so is intellectual form, which is still not recognized as a basic attribute of records, not to mention as an access or entry point. Intellectual form and content are described in the ISAD(G) descriptive element 'Title' (3.1.2). This term, obviously borrowed from library science, entails the misunderstanding of archive users, who do not always have the archival intelligence to understand the relationship between the archival item and its representation. Unconsciously, they look at finding aids as if they were library catalogues.

Descriptive standards have indeed been led by the premise that archival description is comparable to bibliographic description.[26] Of course information is the common denominator, but one could ask why archivists do not look for inspiration in descriptive architectures developed by other scholars, such as biologists or mineralogists?

This is not the place to recite all the differences between book titles and archival descriptions, but at least one needs to be mentioned in this context: unlike books, archival materials (series, subseries, items) are named by the archivist. Sometimes an existing title is adopted, but very often a new one is supplied, consisting of an intellectual form or a combination of an intellectual form and a content based description.

Naming is especially difficult in this last scenario. Which information should be highlighted? In some traditions, rules are formulated concerning what information should be described, eg in the cases of letters or deeds, but the subjectivity is still existing. Should one merely mention the name of the offender, when describing remission letters in detail, or also the name of the victim? And what about the place and time of the crime, the names of the witnesses, etc?

What is the alternative? Should archivists just drop the 'title' and replace it with 'intellectual form' or 'record type'? Is it in any way imaginable to omit content–based information? Or should we side with Zinkham and Co and make a determined choice in order to keep form and content separate descriptive elements?

 

Depth of archival description

The description of the content of archives is a tricky business. Bearman brings this into focus when remarking that "archival material does not have a subject per se. Archival material is of the activity that generates it, but seldom it is consciously authored to be about something"[27]. The notion of 'depth of archival description' ('level of detail' in Rules of Archival Description) is essential. How far do archival representations penetrate the content of the archives? In their famous manual, Muller, Feith and Fruin make a fundamental distinction by remarking that an inventory makes archives accessible, not the content of archives.[28]

Depth of description is as fundamental in archival science as 'definition' is in image processing. Sharpness of description not only depends on the investment of the archivist or the pressure of time, but also on the nature of the records described. Archivists rarely communicate to their patrons that in finding aids, the relationship between the archives and their representations can greatly vary.

Yakel recorded "a decreasing granularity of the contents description" in recent years[29], while Menne–Haritz argues in favour of a "progressively increasing intensity of description"[30]. Insisting on knowledge–management rather than information management, she sees the archivist as "an enabler of access instead of a deliverer of prefabricated information"[31].

When archivists keep carrying content–analysis to extremes, they are fighting a battle they can never win. The backlog in archival services is worrisome. In a much–discussed article, M.A. Greene and D. Meissner[32] stated that archivists waste a lot of time insisting on item–level descriptions and on the rules dictated by descriptive standards. Researchers do not care about such things and only ask for elementary access. Even though I do not agree with all of their conclusions, I am convinced that elementary access is formal. Archivists realize a substantial excess value when they bring forth all their skills in the development of a user–friendly typology of records. Access of content, in which users can be called in, comes second. Access, according to Menne–Haritz, "is a strategy that is neutral towards the content but passionate concerning openness and availability of information potentials"[33]. Since intellectual form is subject–neutral par excellence, it is the attribute of archives on which archivists have to focus. Knowledge and recognition of the wealth of record types is, together with the focus on context, their core business and the basis of their role as access mediators.

This discussion affects another controversial issue: archival description by social tagging. Archivists need to recognize the expertise of patrons in a content–based approach; on the other hand, patrons have to be conscious of the crucial contribution of archivists in representing the context, structure and form of archives. And perhaps archivists in particular have to be more aware of their core business. It is essential that the profession recognizes and focuses on this expertise.

 

Authority files of record types: making forms accessible?[34]

The archival world needs a thesaurus that brings together, deepens and communicates the existing knowledge on intellectual forms in their local, national and international appearance. Instead of an unimaginative and technical typology, this should be a user–friendly interface between archival heritage and historical scholarship.

A clear definition of the nature and setting of every record type is the starting point. Critics will object that this is unworkable because of the overwhelming variety in intellectual forms. As far as personal records are concerned[35], this is partially true, but most agencies produce standardized documents, often imposed by law. Existing lists of record types need to be extended and developed into a systematic survey, paying attention to the hierarchical relations between broader and narrower terms. When indicating preferential terms, it can also be developed as an authority file. This thesaurus should not be conceived as an isolated database, but must be linked to relevant secondary literature. Information on typology is scattered and hidden in source editions, introductory chapters of historical monographs and rare typological studies.

Representations of relevant samples and links to online source publications will make this thesaurus a user–friendly tool. Images are a powerful instrument to give the reader a fair idea of the look and feel of the documents. Countless archival records are available online, in transcription or in digitized form, without any contextual information. Thesaurus entries will be enriched by links to such records. On the other hand, a link to this thesaurus will be an added value for all representations: in the first place, traditional descriptions in online inventories and other finding aids, but also images and transcriptions.

Archival descriptions in online finding aids are still characterized by their textual nature. Well–chosen images often say more than copious text.[36] For centuries, biologists have been using images to describe the formal variety of nature. Of course, archivists — unlike biologists — have to combine form and aboutness. They often have no choice; they are forced by the special nature of archival information. But still it is startling that the archival world has hardly used the amazing facilities to visualize records and record types in a non–linguistic way or in a combination of a linguistic and a non–linguistic way.

The development and proliferation of archival output is relevant to the history of the agencies that produced them. City administrations, notary offices, courts, etc developed their own archival production, but the patterns are very often comparable. Mediation in disputes, administration and registration of transfer of property lead to similar configurations. The mapping of these patterns in archival production may be rather labour–intensive, yet it proves to be very useful, especially when carried out in a comparative perspective. Special attention should be paid to the genesis of new forms.

Archivists have to think out of the box by designing representational architectures that contain online images of specimens of the typological wealth of archives, especially of serial materials. Millions of pages are digitized in a — very often poorly organized — way. It gives us the false sense of being able to control their content.

 

Conclusions

Postmodern thinkers have forced the archival community to think about the nature and — particularly — the limits of archival representation. The ICT–revolution with its great promises of search engines and boundless trust in information has made the problem even more poignant, but it has, at the same time, supplied the opportunity for a new descriptive architecture.

Yakel argued in favour of "fluid arrangements and descriptions as on–going representational processes"[37]. Online finding aids are more flexible; surveys, inventories and research guides are easily linked; and above all: the one–way communication of the past has made way for a new promising spirit of collaboration of archivists and users of archives. While users are interested in content, the core business of the archivist is the representation of records in their context and in their fascinating formal variety. This is not a withdrawal or a hasty retreat; I would rather describe it as a new focus on one of the core businesses of the profession. Content based description can be added by social tagging, but only as a second layer: the basic framework of archival description, focusing on context, structure and form, is the professional responsibility of the archivist.

Intellectual form needs to be recognized as a basic attribute of records, one that requires greater emphasis than content. The tension between form and content will always remain a crux, but good communication between archivists and their patrons can at least remove the sources of misunderstanding. Cancelling the descriptive element 'title' would be a good start. Archival items do not have titles the way books have titles. Content and form need to be represented separately, to the highest extent possible.

Some archival descriptions are analytical and finely woven, while others are purely formal. Most users are not aware of this opacity, nor do they recognize that it is inevitable that lots of serial materials are described this way. Why not declare the proportion of formally described items in finding aids, online and on paper? Archival users have to be able to see how far they can penetrate archival information. Very often, they do not have the situational awareness to assess the representation they are working with. A hierarchic approach, nowadays ever more discussed, is the only way to deal with this. Stratified description will show the users that for some items there is only a formal description, possibly linked to a thesaurus article, while for other items there is a summary or even a complete digital copy.

Simplifying archival language and tuning down archival vocabulary is not a solution; the only way out is a better knowledge of record types as a crucial part of archival intelligence. Until now, archivists have not yet taken up the 'didactical' challenge to instruct their patrons in this field. Reference archivists still play a crucial role, even more in an online research environment. The most important contribution, however, will be a user–friendly multi–layered thesaurus that brings together and develops our knowledge of the wealth of varieties in the archival heritage. This not only supports historical and other research; the history of records is in itself a promising field of research. This thesaurus can be developed into a crucial part of a new representational architecture, in which surveys, inventories and research guides will be linked together. It can be an eye–opener that realizes an ambition, which is hard to achieve at first sight: making archival forms accessible.

 

 

1.
I would like to thank Terry Eastwood for his comments on an earlier version of this article, as well as An Verscuren and Craig Harline for the revision of the language. 
2.
Elizabeth Yakel, “The impact of internet-based discovery tools on use and users of archives” in: Comma, 2003, p. 191-200; Elizabeth Yakel and Deborah A. Torres, “AI: Archival intelligence and user expertise” in: The American Archivist, 66, 2003, p. 51-78. 
3.
Yakel and Torres, “AI: archival intelligence”, p. 75. 
4.
Luciana Duranti, Diplomatics: New Uses for an Old Science (Lanham, 1998), p. 134. 
5.
Richard Pearce–Moses, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology (Archival fundamentals. Series 2, Chicago, 2005), p. 210. 
6.
International Council on Archives (ed.), General International Standard Archival Description (2nd ed, 2011), p. 11 (www.ica.org/10207/standards/isadg-general-international-standard-archival-description-second-edition.html) (viewed 15 September 2014). 
7.
Pearce–Moses, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology, p. 331.
Procter and Cook make a comparable distinction between 'diplomatic description' and 'physical description', see Margaret Procter and Michael Cook, Manual of Archival Description (Aldershot, 2003), p. 80–82. 
8.
Procter and Cook, Manual, p. 68–69. 
9.
María Milagros Cárcel Ortí, Vocabulaire International de la Diplomatique (2nd ed., Valencia, 1994); Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental, ed. L. Genicot, Turnhout, 1972–. 
10.
See for instance: Heinrich Otto Meisner, Urkunden– und Aktenlehre der Neuzeit (Leipzig, 1952); Jürgen Kloosterhuis, "Amtliche Aktenkunde der Neuzeit, Ein hilfswissenschaftliches Kompendium" in Archiv für Diplomatik, Schriftgeschichte, Siegel– und Wappenkunde, 45 (1999), p. 465–561; Josef Pauser, Martin Scheutz and Thomas Winkelbauer, Quellenkunde der Habsburgermonarchie (16.–18. Jahrhundert) (Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Bd. 44, München, 2004) and Louise Gagnon–Arguin, Typologie des documents des organisations : de la création à la conservation (Sainte–Foy (Québec), 1999). 
11.
Duranti, Diplomatics, p. 134. 
12.
Helena Zinkham, Patricia D. Cloud and Hope Mayo, “Providing Access by Form of Material, Genre and Physical Characteristics: Benefits and Techniques” in The American Archivist, 52 (1989), p. 313–316. 
13.
Heather MacNeil, "Weaving Provenancial and Documentary Relations" in Archivaria, 34 (1992), pp. 192–198 and "Subject Access to Archival Fonds: Balancing Provenance and Pertinence" in Fontes artis musicae, 43 (1996), p. 242–258. 
14.
David Bearman, “Authority Control Issues and Prospects” in The American Archivist, 52 (1989), p. 286–299. 
15.
See for instance Francis Blouin, “A Framework for a Consideration of Diplomatics in the Electronic Environment” in The American Archivist, 59 (1996), p. 466–479 and Heather MacNeil, “Weaving Provenancial and Documentary Relations” in Archivaria, 34  (1992), p. 192–198. 
16.
Society of American Archivists, Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS), Chicago, 2004, p. XXIV. 
17.
Natalie Zemon–Davis, Fiction in the archives, Pardon Tales and their tellers in sixteenth–century France (Stanford, 1987). 
18.
Jacques Paquet, Les matricules universitaires (Typologie des sources du Moyen Age occidental,vol. IV.1, Turnhout, 1991). 
19.
A recent survey in: Geoffrey Yeo, "Debates about Description" in: Terry Eastwood and Heather MacNeil (eds.), Currents of Archival Thinking (Santa Barbara–Denver–Oxford, 2009), p. 89–114. 
20.
Wendy M. Duff and Verne Harris, "Stories and names: archival description as narrating records and constructing meaning" in Archival Science, 2 (2002), p. 263–285. 
21.
Idem, p. 275. 
22.
Arthur Gaillard, Inventaire sommaire des archives du Conseil Privé, s.l.n.d. 
23.
Louis Prosper Gachard and others, Inventaire des archives des Chambres des comptes, précédé d’une notice historique sur ces anciennes institutions (6 volumes, Brussels, 1837–1931). 
24.
Idem (Vol. 5, Brussels, 1879) p. 72–73. 
25.
Duff and Harris, "Stories and names", p. 284. 
26.
Idem, p. 272. 
27.
Bearman, "“Authority Control Issues and Prospects", p. 289. 
28.
Samuel Muller, Johan Adriaan Feith and Robert Fruin, Manual for the arrangement and description of archives, translation of the 2nd edition by Arthur H. Leavitt ; with new introductions by Peter Horsman, Eric Ketelaar, Theo Thomassen and Marjorie Rabe Barritt (Chicago, 2003), paragraph 37. 
29.
Elizabeth Yakel, "Archival representation" in Archival Science, 3 (2003), p. 22. 
30.
Angelika Menne–Haritz, "Access: the reformulation of an archival paradigm" in Archival Science, 1 (2001), p. 65. 
31.
Idem, p. 81. 
32.
Mark A. Greene and Dennis Meissner, "More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing" in The American Archivist, 68 (2005), p. 208–263. 
33.
Menne–Haritz, "Access", p. 63. 
34.
For more information, see: Eddy Put, "Une flore d'archives? La recherche typologique des sources d'archives de l'époque moderne", in Martin Aubry, Isabelle Chave and Vincent Doom (eds.), Archives, archivistes, archivistique dans l'Europe du Nord–ouest du moyen âge à nos jours (Lille, 2006), p. 287–292. 
35.
See for instance Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray, "Is it a Diary, Commonplace Book, Scrapbook, or Whatchamacallit?: Six Years of Exploration in New England's Manuscript Archives" in Libraries and the Cultural Record, 44 (2009), p. 101–123. 
36.
J. Gordon Daines III and Cory L. Nimer, "Re–Imagining Archival Display: Creating User–Friendly Finding Aids" in Journal of Archival Organization, 9 (2011), p. 4–31. 
37.
Yakel, "Archival representation", p. 4. 

About the Author

Eddy Put

Eddy Put (born 1959) studied early modern history at the KU Leuven (Belgium) and archival science at the Rijksarchiefschool in The Hague (Netherlands). Currently he is director of the State Archives in Leuven and part time professor archival science at the KU Leuven. Among his publications is A Bishop's Tale. Mathias Hovius among his Flock in Seventeenth-Century Flanders, Londen-New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000 (with Craig Harline). Main research fields: early modern religious and institutional history, archival arrangement and description. 

 

 

More articles from this author

Comments   

0 #1 Kühnel Karsten 2014-10-06 09:29
A really provocative article. It seems to claim a reply! ...
Quote

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Copyright © 2012 - 2015 APEx project - All Rights Reserved
The APEx project is co-funded by the European Commission via the ICT PSP framework, 5th call, theme 2.1 - aggregating content for Europeana
 

EU flag  ICT PSP logo  Europeana logo

  

 

You are here: Home Articles What's in a title? - Aboutness versus intellectual form in archival description