Archives and the 5 layers

After spending some time with each individual archive, there are many things to note. The first is that each archive is different. This is not only in the way it is presented to the viewer and navigable on the internet, but also what its contents are. This makes me think of the quote, “The archive preserves and reserves, protects and patrols, regulates and represses” (Werner/Voss i). The owner and creator of the archive essentially is the god of the archive. This allows him or her to decide what is preserved, protected, and regulated. To each owner or creator of an archive, they may decide on different things to protect for the years to come, and allow future generations to learn from.

One archive I took notice of in particular is the William Blake Archive. Viewing the home page, and all of the different navigation options, it immediately makes me consider the quote from Sample’s article Platform Studies as Historical Inquiry, or, Video Games Bleed History” that states, “Look closely at any of the five layers and you can see how it is not only dependent on the layers below, but also on the context that presses in from every side” (n. pag.). The first link is that to his actual works, the bulk of what the archive is. The next link includes that to his personal quarterly. Continuing on, you can view what is “new” in the archive. Next you can actually search for text or images. But it doesn’t stop there, it allows you to view his biography and more information about him, and then more information about the archive itself. This clearly portrays what Sample was getting at in his article, in that all of those pages and links rely on one another to complete the whole of the information the archivist is wanting to showcase. This archive is a fantastic example of what archivist are pursuing to achieve.


2 thoughts on “Archives and the 5 layers

  1. I completely agree with all that you have stated, and you did really well, in putting what I was thinking about all of the different archives, into words that I seemed to not be able to find. I found it intriguing that each archive is completely unique, simply because each one was controlled, or made, by a different person/people. No matter the information portrayed, however similar it might be to another archive, since it was made by someone else, they’re going to put their own spin on it, making it their own. I never really thought of the different links tying it in to the whole that the archivist was trying to portray, I only considered them to be simple links that took me somewhere that the archivist wanted me to go for more information, but now that you said that, I can definitely see that when using them hands on, and it absolutely makes more sense to me now. You definitely did very well in using your references to solidify your point, and it gave much more insight to me, as I was looking into the archives. It definitely helped make more sense of defining an archive, at least in my mind, so I think you did an excellent job!

  2. To both of you, I think your responses really answer this prompt well. I also feel as though every archivist has a very unique voice due to their interpretation of any particular work. Of all the archives, I, also, directed my attention towards Sample’s article “Platform Studies as Historical Inquiry, or, Video Games Bleed History”. His addition of links takes his article from one that only gives the reader access to the physical article to an article that shows Sample’s interpretation of the article and his background to show where his interpretation is derived from. With the addition of the link, the reader obtains layers and layers of information. These layers can be studied at the readers discretion as well. The reader can pick and choose which links to read based on his level of interest. Ultimately, using links, allows readers of all levels of interest to get their fix.

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