The 10th International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (ICHORA) will be held online during the week of 25-29 July 2022, virtually hosted by The National Archives (UK) and the Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research (FARMER).

The year 2022 marks the centenary of a number of important events that have significantly shaped recordkeeping in the hosts’ countries of the United Kingdom and Ireland. From the destruction of seven centuries of Ireland’s records in the Four Courts explosion in Dublin to the publication of Sir Hilary Jenkinson’s Manual of Archive Administration, the impact of the year 1922 is still being felt today through its legacies of loss and intellectual tradition. ICHORA 2022 is therefore shaped by a desire for both reflection and renewal.

The conference will encourage anyone interested in the practical ways that archives and records are communicated through time to do two things.

  1. Discover and present stories about aspects of this practice or figures associated with it.
  2. Reflect on recordkeeping historiography (the sources, techniques and theories that are used to study and shape the history of recordkeeping).

 We are seeking participation through two streams: Postcards from the Past and Reflections.

Learn more here:  ICHORA 2022 | FARMER (

A new book by Geoffrey Yeo, Record-Making and Record-Keeping in Early Societies, investigates the beginnings of human recording practices and provides a survey of early record-making and record-keeping in societies across the world. It investigates the ways in which human activities were recorded in different settings using different methods and technologies. 

Many archivists are familiar with Ernst Posner’s Archives in the Ancient World, published in 1972; but this book is substantially different. Posner began his story with the invention of writing about 5000 years ago, but the first records were made long before writing came into use, and Record-Making and Record-Keeping in Early Societies explores non-written as well as written records. Posner’s study was limited to Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but Record-Making and Record-Keeping in Early Societies also investigates record-making and record-keeping in many other parts of the world, particularly China and the pre-Hispanic Americas. Research into early recording practices has advanced considerably in recent decades, and the book draws on recent scholarship in archaeology and anthropology, as well as recent thinking in archival science.  Based on analysis of literature from a wide range of disciplines, Record-Making and Record-Keeping in Early Societies offers a distinctive perspective on early archives. It aims, not merely to describe the variety of recording methods and practices used in different societies at different times, but also to engage with a range of questions about the contexts in which those practices arose and the ways in which we might understand and interpret them.  The book is available in hard covers and also as an e-book.

For more details, see

ICHORA 2020: Archives and the Digital World Conference

The preliminary conference program for ICHORA 2020: Archives and the Digital World (Oct. 26 – 30, 2020) is now available. The conference will have an engaging lineup of papers and presenters, including a panel on Re-Imagining Materiality: Three Histories of Archival Technologies put together by IIHAS with Jenny Bunn, James Lowry and Michael Riordan. The keynote speakers are Maria Elena Duarte (Assistant Professor in Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University); Margaret Hedstrom (Robert M. Warner Collegiate Professor of Information, University of Michigan), and Tonia Sutherland (Assistant Professor, Department of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa).
Please register as soon as you can. The conference will be online and attendance will be capped at 300 guests. Conference organizers are requesting attendees contribute up to $20 (US) to register.

Crowdsourcing a (New) Manual of Archive Administration
100 Years After Jenkinson’s Manual

2022 will be the centenary of the publication of Sir Hilary Jenkinson’s A Manual of Archive Administration. The Manual became a foundation of archival practice in the English-speaking world, and it is arguably a cornerstone in what might be described as the dominant archival paradigm today. It represents orthodoxy. But in the years since the Manual was published, archival theory and practice have changed radically.

Leading up to 2022, the International Intellectual History of Archival Studies (IIHAS) research network is crowdsourcing a new manual:

We hope the co-created manual will respond to the topics and concerns of Hilary Jenkinson’s Manual, which is available through the Internet Archive, the 1922 edition here and the 1937 edition here. We also hope that it will extend beyond the limits of the original. We hope the new manual will be critical and contradictory: we are not pursuing consensus.
We invite contributions from everyone. We are using a wiki format because we want to democratise the definition of professional knowledge and we recognise that there are diverse views within and around our professional community.

We are looking into open access publishing options for a ‘final’ snapshot of this wiki in 2022. By adding to this wiki, you’re giving us permission to include any of your content in that publication. We encourage you to use your real name as your user name so that you can be credited in a general list of contributors (this is unlikely to be mapped to particular sections of the manual). Anything you contribute to this wiki can also be used on a non-exclusive basis by Wikidot. See their Terms of Service for details.

Call for Papers

Archival Science: Special Issue on Archival Thinking: Genealogies and Archaeologies

Guest Editors: James Lowry, Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies, Heather MacNeil, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto,

It has been suggested that provenance had been established as an organizing principle in Portuguese and Neapolitan archives long before De Wailly’s memorandum of 1841 introduced the principle to the Archives Nationales de France. It has also been suggested that macroappraisal emerged simultaneously but separately in Canada and China. And while the roots of certain aspects of records management have been traced back to medieval chancery procedures, much of its history remains under-researched and poorly understood.

There is a need for work that illuminates the history of ideas in the archival field. This special issue will provide space for explorations of archival concepts and practices as they have emerged over time. We are calling for papers that examine the development of archival practices, theories and traditions in different national and social contexts, and their transposition and movement over time. Articles might include:

  • discussions of Indigenous knowledge systems as sovereign or normative rather than alternative, supplementary or subaltern information systems ·
  • genealogies of classification theory that centre or recognise the contribution of archival thinking to knowledge organisation in other fields ·
  • lexicographical experiments, for instance mappings of technical terms across languages or traditions ·
  • studies of linked data or Records in Contexts that begin in the 1960s or earlier expositions of concepts of authenticity other than the juridical and Eurocentric conceptualisation dominant in archival studies ·
  • longitudinal visual analyses of the changing definition of provenance ·
  • glossed translations of canonical works in languages other than English ·
  • histories of records management and its techniques, for instance the application of business process mapping to the design of classification schemes or the articulation of traditional registration practices in standards for digital systems ·
  • imagining an alternative present by deleting canonical works from history

We are particularly interested in papers that employ the archaeological and genealogical methodologies of Foucault to trace histories of ideas with a view to understanding their place(s) within paradigms, historical trajectories and social moments and movements.

Key dates: · Submission deadline: 1 December 2019 · Review time: December 2019 to May 2020

Submission instructions: Papers submitted to the special issue must be original, and must not be under consideration for publication anywhere else. Data that have already been used in previously published work can only be reused if the research questions and analysis framework are new. Articles of various lengths will be accepted, but generally no more than 7,000-8,000 words.

Submissions should be made online via the Editorial Manager system at

During submission please select article type “SI: Archival Thinking”. All manuscripts must be prepared according to the journal publication guidelines which can also be found on the website Papers will be reviewed following the journal standard peer review process (double-blind).