The Future of Archives

The "problem of archives" isn't simply that botanists need to save their records. Which records are saved will shape the way history is told, even limit the questions to be posed about our past. As communications become more electronically based, correspondence like Demaree's and even field notes like the Trains' are being generated and stored electronically and often not saved at all. Yet as information technologies grow and change with increasing rapidity, how, or even whether, those records are saved and made accessible poses new problems for archivists, librarians, historians, and practitioners such as botanists.

For the cutting edge of archival questions today, visit the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries' (CBHL) web site. Here you will find information about the symposium "Towards an International Plan for Preserving Botanical Documentation: Critical Problems and Potential Solutions," held on Saturday, August 7, at the XVI International Botanical Congress. This symposium was co-sponsored by the CBHL and the Historical Section of the Botanical Society of America. The symposium and related posters for the poster session were developed by CBHL's Resources Assessment for Preservation and Access Committee, with assistance from co-convener Malcolm Beasley of The Natural History Museum, London.

Ask your institution's archivist about depositing your papers.

Exhibit Home

Douglas Holland
Missouri Botanical Garden Archives