ARCHIVING THE AVANT-GARDE

Michael Katchen

Abstract

Every special collection has a distinct personality that is a combination of its contents and the people who work with it. Such is the case with the Franklin Furnace Archive. Everything in Franklin Furnace is a special collection. The institution is governed by a type of reverse Darwinism best described as “survival of everything.” Right now the archive is storing all the virtual material that it produces and presents on the Internet. Not long ago, any physical material that walked through the door was given an accession number and stuffed into a Hollinger record storage box. Eventually, all those boxes . . .

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