Monthly Archives: September 2012

From Paper Savers to Wired Lives

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Archivaria (Fall 2013):

“From Paper Savers to Wired Lives: Archivists’ Perspectives on Personal Archives”

Personal archives are those archives created by individuals or family groups (as opposed to archives created by organizations). The issue will centre on experiences with personal archives, as well as theoretical and practical approaches to them from the standpoint of archivists and archival theory. Writers are invited to consider the diverse range of individual creators, media and documents present in personal archives as well as the transition to born-digital records.

What are the gaps within archival theory involving personal archives? What are the challenges, strategies, and/or implications of using traditional arrangement and descriptive practices with living creators and in a fast-changing wired world? How might archival practices extend to allowing agency or collaboration with personal archives creators? How do approaches like emulation seek to reflect the creator’s contexts more responsibly? What are the broader (ethical, cultural, political) implications of preserving personal archives for the future?

To expand discussion of these and other issues, Archivaria 76 (Fall 2013) will be devoted to theory, practice and future possibilities pertaining to personal archives.

An editorial committee from the Special Interest Section on Personal Archives (SISPA) will serve as guest editors of this special issue. Members of the editorial committee are: Catherine Hobbs, Rodney Carter, Carolyn Harris and Rob Fisher.

Deadline for expressions of interest:
Expression of interest consisting of an abstract of the proposed article (300-500 words) must be received by Catherine Hobbs (Chair of the Editorial Committee) by Nov. 30, 2012.

Please feel free to direct questions related to this special issue to the SISPA guest editors by contacting: Catherine Hobbs

Submission guidelines:
Final submissions should follow the “Advice to Authors of Submissions to Archivaria” at

Deadline for complete manuscripts:
Complete manuscripts are due 15 Apr. 2013.


Before Emoticons

Illustrations are a way that many letter-writers insert additional commentary between the lines of their scribbling. Drawings may serve to enhance what the letter-writer is conveying to their reader, or may be simply the doodles of a mind drifting elsewhere, or in rare cases the thoughtful sketches that lead to publication (as was the case with Beatrix Potter, whose epistolary inventions became the basis of such beloved works as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin).

Clarence Day, an American author, illustrator, and humorist, decorated his correspondence with playful cartoons, which often poked fun at himself or the letter writer (as in the examples below, where Day teases librarians at Yale University).

Clarence Day Collection. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.