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  • Divya Sharma

Archives in Motion

Archival practices have changed under the impact of the introduction of digital technologies. These technologies challenge traditional notions of the permanence and stability of the archival document and open onto a whole range of new questions concerning what exactly it means to store information for future use. Classification, which very often is combined with research, is a way of organizing large collections according to specific categories. The act of bringing out material from its archive itself reenergises it and enables it to have a new life. The idea of an archive in motion is a paradox: the archive is traditionally that which arrests time, which stops all motion. For 19th century historians, the archive was in its essence an institution that made it possible to access “frozen” sections of past time. But the technological developments in the 20th century have forced the archive to confront the question of mobility, both practically and conceptually. The transition from an archive of motion to the notion of an archive in motion is associated with the advent of the computer and the Internet, where constant transfer and updating functions and “live” communication and interaction redefine the archival document itself. There is a global transformation of archives and libraries due to the impact of new technologies. Archives and libraries all around the world struggle to navigate between radical technological shifts and the gradual extinction of older media.

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