CFP: Journal of Archival Organization – special issue on “Archives and Artifacts”

Archivists manage artifacts in a variety of situations – plaques and memorabilia found in personal papers; models, material samples, and mockups in architectural and industrial design collections; academic and business archives with significant artifactual holdings; or even hybrid archives-museum collections. This special issue will feature articles and case studies relating to the arrangement and description of artifacts in archives. We hope to encourage wider sharing of information between archivists who manage artifacts, and to spur dialogue that will hopefully lead to professional best practices.

We invite papers on any aspect of the archival organization of artifacts. Contributions might cover the following themes:

  • Impacts on processing planning and workflows
  • Integrating processing of artifacts with processing of manuscript material
  • Costs associated with arranging, describing, and storing artifacts
  • Minimum, added-value, and optimal description for artifacts
  • Artifact description and arrangement practices to maximize use/discovery by curators, researchers, and other users
  • Archival management systems and tools used to manage data about artifacts in an archival setting
  • Commonalities between the archives and museum profession in arrangement and description

We are particularly interested in exploring approaches to managing data about artifacts. Questions include: If extant archival systems do not meet our management needs for artifacts, how can we address these system limitations? What tools have archivists adopted or developed to manage data about artifacts? What can archivists learn from museum professionals about managing data about artifacts?  Can item-level processing of artifacts be usefully (and practically) integrated into the container- or folder-level processing usually applied to manuscript material, and if so, how?


Papers may be original research articles or case studies. Submissions will be peer reviewed by independent, anonymous expert referees. Please refer to the Journal of Archival Organization Instructions for Authors:…

The deadline for submissions is June 21, 2019.

Prospective authors are invited to contact the Guest Editors, Michele Combs and John Nemmers, in order to discuss submissions for this special issue which is scheduled for publication in December 2019:

Michele Combs
Lead Archivist, Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University, 315-443-2081

John Nemmers
Associate Chair, Special & Area Studies Collections
University of Florida, 352-273-2766

The Journal of Archival Organization is an international, peer-reviewed journal publishing high-quality, original research relating to all aspects of the arrangement, description, and provision of access to all forms of archival materials. For more information about the Journal of Archival Organization and examples of recent articles published in the journal:

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