Quaternary dating methods
Chapter five explores an idea relevant to the changes in methodology proposed in the first four chapters.
Intelligent artifices are presented as a tool for expanding intellectual control, and consequently, access and use.
Consequently, like Adam naming the creatures of the earth, they frame our conceptual universe and constitute at the same time both our cultural heritage and the record of that heritage.
The first, and greatest, challenge of archives is to select the archival record, and shape that heritage.
Finally, these essays have been greatly improved by the careful editing of Lynn Cox, Managing Editor of Archives and Museum Informatics Technical Report, without whose assistance they would not have been published.
Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, enabled me to take the time to read deeply in the literature of the profession, where I discovered that the failings I had been seeing in American archival institutions were not primarily a consequence of bad management, but of the fact that the best methods of the profession were inadequate to the task at hand.
Since 1986, I have not pursued this research directly and the work has remained dormant.
Chapter six returns to the themes in the introduction to consider the role of the archivist and the nature of the archival endeavor, and to propose new views of both based on the ideas in the intervening chapters.
More important even than the generous financial support I received from the Mellon Foundation and NEH is the intellectual support of Francis Bluin and Bill Wallach of the Bentley Library, and of my colleagues in the 1986 Seminar - Chris Baer, Greg Bradsher, Judy Endelman, Avra Michelson and Peter Sigmond - who read and discussed drafts of these papers with me that summer and stimulated me by their own research.