On the Meaning of Archival Practice

Asen Ivanov



This paper presents selected findings from an interpretive, qualitative study of moving image archival practices at the digital archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). To this end, I first describe and analyze what I call the “epistemic culture” at the digital archives of the CBC, thus showing how individual routines, organizational structures, symbolic conventions, and objects of knowledge (i.e., records and archives) collectively provide direction and meaning to archival practice in a situated workplace context. Following that, I discuss what the analysis of appraisal and preservation practices at the CBC tells us about the theorization of the concepts of authenticity and value in archival science.



I am a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. My research draws on theoretical frameworks from cultural sociology, organizational studies, and archival science to examine digital curation of moving image (film and television) archives. My current PhD project examines digital curation practices at the moving image archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Beyond the scope of this current project, I am interested in studying the sociocultural dimension of the practices through which libraries, archives, and museums collect, organize, preserve, and assign value to cultural works—with primary focus on emerging digital preservation and curation contexts.