Issue 18, Fall 2011
The practice of archiving has never been neutral. Not only it is bound up with collective memory, past institutional forms, conservation practices and techniques of transmission, but it is also the result of political decisions, power relations and issues of social concern. At a time today when there is more and more talk of archives, and when new technical and cultural uses generated by digital technologies seem to re-examine the figures of the past, it is important to acknowledge the full dimensions of the practice of archiving and its current relevance. This is what the articles in this issue aim to do through a variety of discussions on the diverse technical aspects of archives, collections and libraries, the speculative aspects of some historical records and the desire to create archives. These inquiries into specific places and unusual material supports, into political, economic, institutional and academic (since the founding of the Platonic school) issues, are necessary to understand the difficulties we might face in the process of ensuring the future of our archives.