About

2022 will be the centenary of the publication of Sir Hilary Jenkinson's 'Manual of Archive Administration'. The Manual became a foundation of archival practice in the English-speaking world, and it is arguably a cornerstone in what might be described as the dominant archival paradigm today. It represents orthodoxy. But in the years since the Manual was published, archival theory and practice have changed radically.

Leading up to 2022, we are crowdsourcing a new manual.

1. No Manuals

Matthew Hull observed that ‘[n]ormative procedures were laid down in hundreds of manuals produced for every sphere of administration in the late nineteenth century’.1 Jenkinson's Manual is a late specimen of this positivistic and bureaucratic instinct to control. We are working in a different paradigm, with different materials, technologies and preoccupations. Arguably, this kind of sole-authored, authoritative manual for all of archival practice is no longer appropriate: so, we are excited to see what comes out of this project.

We hope the co-created manual will respond to the topics and concerns of Hilary Jenkinson's Manual, which is available through the Internet Archive, the 1922 edition here and the 1937 edition here. We also hope that it will extend beyond the limits of the original. We hope the new manual will be critical and contradictory: we are not pursuing consensus.

2. No Archons

This is an initiative of the International Intellectual History of Archival Studies (IIHAS) research network. We invite contributions from everyone. We are using a wiki format because we want to democratise the definition of professional knowledge and we recognise that there are diverse views within and around our professional community.

We are looking into open access publishing options for a 'final' snapshot of this wiki in 2022. By adding to this wiki, you're giving us permission to include any of your content in that publication. We encourage you to use your real name as your user name so that you can be credited in a general list of contributors (this is unlikely to be mapped to particular sections of the manual).

Anything you contribute to this wiki can also be used on a non-exclusive basis by Wikidot. See their Terms of Service for details.

Feel free to play with the structure and content of this wiki, but please be respectful of other users and their contributions.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License