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Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
The Journal of Western Archives’ focus is on “contemporary issues and developments in the archival and curatorial fields, particularly as they affect Western archives and manuscript repositories.” The journal is dedicated to recording the history of the development of archival and curatorial professions in the western United States. To that end, the journal accepts research articles, case studies, work-in-progress articles, and book, exhibit, Web, and film review essays, especially seeking material that addresses important Western regional issues in archives and manuscript repositories, unique archival developments in the western United States, technological innovations and their effect on archival theory and practice, the history and development of the archival and curatorial professions in the American West, or collaborative efforts and projects between various cultural institutions. The Journal is supported by a number of organizational and institutional sponsors, including the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists, Northwest Archivists, Inc., the Society of California Archivists, the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists, the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University, the Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. It also invites individual donations.
The current issue at the time of this review is Vol. 6 (2015), Issue 1, a Native American Archives Special Issue, that includes the articles: “’"The Right to Know’: Decolonizing Native American Archives,” “Tribal Archives, Traditional Knowledge, and Local Contexts: Why the “s” Matters,” “Natives in the Nation's Archives: The Southwest Oregon Research Project,” “Developing and Organizing an Archival Education Training Opportunity for Oregon’s Tribal Communities: The Oregon Tribal Archives Institute,” and “Images of the Surreal: Contrived Photographs of Native American Indians in Archives and Suggested Best Practices,” as well as a review of Extensible Processing for Archives and Special Collections: Reducing Processing Backlogs. A quick read through these articles reveals both excellent research and writing; although aimed at archivists the material will be of interest also to historians and others working with library collections and Native American materials and concerns.
The issue before this, Vol. 5 (2014), Issue 1, offers the two articles, “Citizen Krueger: An Examination of Cultural Province and Community Preservation,” and “Fading Silver: The Territorial Cup, the Arizona Foot Ball League and the Mystery of the History,” along with two case studies: “From Accession to Access: A Born-Digital Materials Case Study,” and “Deconstructing the Critical Theory Archive at UCI: An Experiment with EAC-CPF and Linked Open Data,” and five book reviews, of: Perspectives on Women's Archives, Exhibits in Archives and Special Collections Libraries, The American Archivist Online Supplement to Volume 74, Conceptualizing 21st-Century Archives, and Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion. This issue is also full of solid scholarship combined with interesting approaches and imaginative descriptions of projects, individuals, and processes.
Although the coverage emphasis is regional, this is a journal that speaks to the larger archival and library profession. The creativity and expertise it displays should serve as a model for the professional archival and library literature.