Archives in 3D

  • Martine Cardin


This article examines the characteristics of archives (records) susceptible to modification by changes in context. After briefly defining the notion of context, the author proposes a complex analytical model, taking into account what archives are, what they do, and what they represent for their creators. By applying such a model to a traditional definition of archives, the author can identify the physical, functional, andsymbolic characteristics of archives and explore how they have been conditioned by contexts of recording, communication, and memory making.


Le présent article examine les effets que peuvent avoir divers contextes sur les caractéristiques des documents d’archives. Après avoir brièvement défini la notionde contexte, l’auteure propose un modèle d’analyse complexe tenant simultanément compte de ce que les archives sont, de ce qu’elles font et de ce qu’elles représentent pour leurs producteurs. L’application d’un tel modèle sur la définition traditionnelledes archives permet à l’auteure d’identifier des caractéristiques physiques, fonctionnelles et symboliques de la production documentaire et de voir comment ces dernières sont plus ou moins conditionnées par des contextes de consignation, de communicationet de mémoire.

Author Biography

Martine Cardin
Martine Cardin is Professor at Université Laval in the history department, where she has been teaching Archival Studies since 1988. Until September 2000, she was the director of the archival studies programme at Université Laval, and she is currently the director of the Institut sur le patrimoine culturel. Drawing on concepts in the disciplines of information science, organizational theory, and memory, her research interests include the theoretical foundation of archives as well as practical aspects of archives. She is in charge of a research project to digitize and make available the oral archives of Quebec City. She has published previously, including her doctoral thesis under the title Archivistique: Information, organisation, mémoire. L’exemple du Mouvement coopératif Desjardins, 1900–1990 (Sillery, 1995).
How to Cite
Cardin, Martine. 2001. “Archives in 3D”. Archivaria 51 (May), 112-36.

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