For me, one of the most interesting aspects of working in the archival field is how it relates to broader subjects such as communication, memory, technology, and language. Every once and a while, I like to read a book that has some connection to archives and I often refer to a blog called Reading Archives for suggestions. Because of its broad interpretation of archives, I would recommend this blog to anyone even remotely interested in the field of archives and records management.
The blog is written by Richard Cox, a professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. In his own words, the blog offers “critical observations on the scholarly and popular literature analyzing the nature of archives or contributing to our understanding of archives in society.” This description allows Cox to use his blog to comment on a wide variety of subjects- anything from government secrecy to the history of color photography to an analysis of cell phone texting. Although most of his postings provide summaries and comments about books, he also comments on articles, current events, guest speakers at Pitt, and events in the professional archives community. Together these sources clearly illustrate the broader importance of archives in society.
Dr. Cox started blogging in the fall of 2006 and adds to the blog about three times a week. The blog benefits from Dr. Cox’s past experiences which include writing 14 books on archives and records management subjects, serving four years as the editor of the American Archivist journal, and another four years as the publications director for the Society of American Archivists. The commentary on his blog is perceptive and succinct. He is an avid reader and I can only imagine what his personal library looks like. The books mentioned in his blog range from popular books you can buy at the airport to books on archival theory that are only available for purchase online. Even if I don’t read most of the books, I am amazed at how he relates everything to archives, its role in popular culture, and current events.
Click the link to access Reading Archives: http://readingarchives.blogspot.com/