The Small Politics of Everyday Life: Local History Society Archives and the Production of Public Histories.

Cosson, F., 2017. The Small Politics of Everyday Life: Local History Society Archives and the Production of Public Histories. Archives and Records, 38 (1), 45 - 60.

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Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/232579...

DOI: 10.1080/23257962.2016.1269646

Abstract

Thousands of small, private archives sit in attics, cupboard, church halls and computer hard drives around the country; they are the archives of local history societies. Simultaneously freed from the control of archives sector and government initiatives, and yet saturated with local peculiarities and biases, local history society archives can seem to be the very antithesis of the wider archives movement, apparently private and parochial, undemocratic and uncatalogued. Consequently, local history society archives are rarely included in ‘the politics of the archive’ discussions. But if the activity of archiving is to be understood as a political act, what are the politics and meanings of local history and their archives? In this article, I suggest that certain types of local history society archive collections can help us paint a picture of the everyday lives of working-class people in Britain in the twentieth century. They detail the small politics of people’s lives – family, work, leisure, and beliefs. They give ordinary people a name, a face, and a life lived. Moreover, the workings of local history society archives raise important questions about historical production, for these groups play a significant role in rescuing and preserving archival collections, and in creating and curating their own histories.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Archives; local history; local history societies; historical practices; community history; Irthlingborough
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:29420
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:28 Jun 2017 18:22
Last Modified:28 Jun 2017 18:22

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