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Christopher Deutsch @dr_cdeutsch
, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
According to @marydudziak, historians are in the process of losing the archives within the National Archives. We are facing a crisis that threatens our ability to accurately conduct research and then make those important discoveries.
The crisis comes from many sources but all ties to funding at NARA, lack of a political commitment to preservation, shifting preservation methods, and the challenges of electronic records.

I should add #aha2019.
Particularly compelling is the consequence of NARA funding cuts and finding aids. NARA is unable to produce the finding aids it once did, in part, thanks to the legal requirement to complete FOIAs in a timely way. This draws from a shrinking pool of resources.
Archivists are not able to provide the total collection-level description that find aids provide, harming research.

I can attest to this. My own USDA research is sharply defined by preservation and finding aids. USDA records at NARA are very particularly preserved.
I lucked out. USDA preservation aided me but I am hopibg to add to my work with records lacking a finding aid. This will add a layer to my work and hinder later research.
Historians need a broad, profession-wide response to the NARA archival crisis. We need to reconnect with archivists and defend things like finding aids.

Most of all, we need to educate politics and citizens about archives, how they work, and why they are essential.
I guess this is a thread, sorry!

The thing that gets me about this is its connection to archival research. The loneliness of the table is intense and consumed me. Seeing a looming crisis but feeling disconnected because research isolates is a barrier to overcome.
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