Collecting Modern Papers: Some Inherent Challenges

by Tyree, Jessica A.

Abstract (Summary)
This paper attempts to highlight some of the challenges commonly encountered by archivists working with modern papers. For the purpose of the study, modern papers were defined as ones where the creator of the papers is still living or has died relatively recently. Five separate case studies of modern papers in the women’s history, political, family, professional association, and literary genres were based on personal interviews with six practicing archivists. Findings indicate that modern papers, as compared to more historical ones, often translate to increased complexity in donor relations; issues of privacy, trust between archivist and donor, and ego are common. Physical concerns include a general increase in the size of collections, the likelihood of multiple accessions, and problematic special formats. Finally, the modern market for manuscript materials in general has become quite pricey, at times prohibitively so.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Timothy Pyatt

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:special collections acquisitions collection case studies


Date of Publication:04/13/2005

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