David Thomas, Simon Fowler, and Valerie Johnson. The Silence of the Archive.

Tamara E. Livingston


The Silence of the Archive is a deceptively slim volume, for within its covers the reader discovers a wide-ranging, thought-provoking conversation that brings together fascinating examples and anecdotes from archival history and a variety of perspectives and insightful commentary, all arranged in a thematic exploration of the silences or absences in archives. The result is a timely contribution that succeeds in asking the big questions so necessary for the survival of archives in today’s world and bridging the gap in the archival literature between practical manuals and the contributions of archival theorists, historians, cultural theorists, and others about the archival endeavor. In considering what archives are not, the authors ironically bring us much closer to a grounded holistic understanding of what archives are, and what the role of archivists is, or should be.

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