Taking Custody, Giving Access: A Postcustodial Role for a New Century

  • Jeannette A. Bastian


This article considers the relationship between custody and access focusing on the vital role that access to historical records plays in the construction of community memory. It explores the principle of archival custody as it has developed primarily in the English-speaking world, its historical background, its mid-twentieth century evolution into postcustodialism, and suggests that access be a primary role for the custodian in the new century.

Cet article considère la relation entre la garde des documents et leur accès en mettant l'accent sur le rôle vital que joue l'accès aux documents historiques dans la construction de la mémoire collective. Il explore le principe de la garde des documents tel qu'il a été développé principalement dans le monde anglo-saxon, son arrière-plan historique ainsi que son évolution au milieu du XXe siècle en postcustodialism. Enfin il suggère que l'accès doit avoir un rôle primordial pour les archivistes ayant la garde des documents dans le siècle qui commence.

Author Biography

Jeannette A. Bastian
Jeannette Allis Bastian is Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science where she directs the Archives Management concentration. Prior to this, she was the former Director of the Division of Libraries and Archives of the United States Virgin Islands. She received her Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Pittsburgh.
How to Cite
Bastian, Jeannette A. 2002. “Taking Custody, Giving Access: A Postcustodial Role for a New Century”. Archivaria 53 (May), 76-93. https://archivaria.ca/index.php/archivaria/article/view/12838.