Document Type


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Archival Issues

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Archives, Libraries, Convergence, Theory, LAMs


While the convergence of libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) has received considerable attention, a literature review indicates that integration has primarily occurred around digitization projects, exhibits, and budgets, while professional identity serves as a barrier to integration of scholarly work. The present study examines to what extent scholarly theory between archives and libraries has converged by surveying citations from 2008-2016 for top-rated library journals in archival journals (and vice-versa), examining Library of Congress Subject Headings of cataloged books and dissertations in OCLC WorldCat from 2008-2016, and examining papers generated by special projects related to convergence in LAMs. Findings indicate that there is no consistent increase in the number of cross-citations between disciplines in scholarly articles or the number of monographs cataloged with "archives" and "libraries" subject headings in WorldCat that would indicate a convergence of libraries and archives. An examination of papers devoted to convergence of LAMs shows that while theory and scholarly publishing is not directly addressed, distinct professional identities can be considered a barrier to convergence. It is concluded that while LAMs may be converging in some areas, they are not converging in the area of theory, possibly due to a desire to maintain discreet professional identities and low engagement with theory by some archivists.


Pre-print version of an article which appeared in Archival Issues, volume 38, issue 2. Also included is an appendix which was not included with the article due to space limitations.

PublisherCopy.pdf (289 kB)
Publisher Copy

Appendix.docx (170 kB)



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