For immediate release | March 20, 2012

Practical guidance on academic archives

CHICAGO—In today’s world, academic archives serve multiple roles, encompassing records management programs, special collections departments and other archival repositories. Because of these nontraditional functions, modern academic archivists require different sets of skills and training from those of their predecessors. “Academic Archives: Managing the Next Generation of College and University Archives, Records, and Special Collections,” from Neal-Schuman Publishers, offers valuable guidance for archivists of all levels, helping them start or manage archives and remain current on new and future trends. Aaron D. Purcell, an experienced archivist and current professor and director of special collections at Virginia Tech, examines every facet of academic archives in the modern world in this exhaustive book.

In Part I, he looks at archives and the academic environment. He describes preparation needed for archival work, modern academic libraries and technologies they use and the roles of special collections and academic archives. In Part II, he focuses on building and updating an academic archives program. Purcell walks readers through creating a plan and vision for the program, records management in academic settings, collection development and acquisitions and management of collections. He also explores public and research services and describes new technologies and electronic challenges. In Part III, he looks at the future of academic archives, examining trends and new potential roles for academic archivists. “Academic Archives: Managing the Next Generation of College and University Archives, Records, and Special Collections” will appeal to archivists of all levels and experience, as well as other LIS professionals, library directors and members of the academic community. It is an invaluable guide to this complex and evolving field.

Purcell is professor and director of special collections at Virginia Tech. Purcell has also worked at the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine and the University of Tennessee. Purcell has published numerous books, and has written articles on archival topics for the American Archivist, Archival Outlook and the Journal of Archival Organization. Purcell is an active member of the Society of American Archivists, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, and the Southern Historical Association.

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