The Current State of Academic Archives: A Procrustean Bed for Archival Principles?

William J. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Archives of colleges and universities have evolved in response to a number of pressures and forces, most of which are beyond their control: the character, age, and mission of the parent institution; the administrative location of the archives; the place of the archivist in the institutional hierarchy; the research, teaching, and programmatic interests of faculty and administrators; the educational and subject interests of the archivist; and archival theory and principles. Academic archivists face the challenge of trying simultaneously to meet professional program standards, maintain the primacy of their core mission, and accommodate other opportunities and demands, all of this within the limits of available resources. The resolution of these tensions may come less from the development of external standards than from each archivist's ability to seize control of the forces and direct them to the good of the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-349
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Archivist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1989


  • art archives
  • colleges
  • archives
  • universities
  • university administration
  • archives administration
  • academic standards
  • academic records

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences


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