Label Cloud

donderdag 6 december 2007

Archives in movies

Scholars are in general, in their own specific way - well - nerds. Merriam-Websters defines a nerd as someone who is "socially inept", but also "slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits." It can be a shameful term (social ineptitude), as well as one to be worn with pride (dedication). I don't think anyone will be calling Bill Gates a nerd nowadays. Not in his face anyhow. The word geek is offered as a synonym. To me, a geek is one type of nerd. The other type tells something about the focus on certain bits of knowledge that are completely meaningless to anyone who does not share the same mindset. The number 42 doesn't mean a thing to the largest part of the world, but has a relative significance among a minority of readers. What I'm trying to say is that scholarly professionals like what they do, and they like the little geeky bits of information that go with it. When they see things that show a reflection of their profession, they tend to feel a certain connection with it.

Which brings me to my point. Archivists are no exception to this rule. They work in archives, do research about archival science, and take pride in their role as keeper of knowledge in the service of history. Images of archives (and libraries) appear from time to time in movies. Some very dedicated academics have found the time to make an extensive list of which ones on the site Archivalia. No doubt, their significant others find their dedication very endearing. Not that I'm putting them down, I wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't dutifully surfed to their site when I read about it. :-)

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