Archival Objects

Most people dismiss archives as dusty old boxes—museums of paper records; I believe they are much more than this. I prefer to think of them as interventions into the natural decline of human memory. More than that, I believe that constituting an archives can be a tactic of pleasure, for they contain what we consider the most cherished evidence of the lives and experiences of those who create them. And because researchers come to archives to learn and write new stories with this knowledge, I see the archives not as an end point, but as a place for beginnings. Rather than being the tomb of the trace, the archives is more frequently the product of the anticipation of collective memory. Thus an archives can be a site of aspiration and not just recollection.


© Rebecka Sheffield 2011-2013