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HEEG Literature Seminar 4: Archival Studies


Admission requirements


A number of books and articles provide the student with an overview of the various lines of approach in archival science. The concept of archive is in the forefront of this discussion. Students get insight in the various functions of archives in society. In the discussion the emphasis is on the use of archives as a historical source. Important questions are: why is it important to understand the context of archives creation to be able to use archives as historical sources? Do the sources actually say what they say? Which approach to archives does the historian choose and which approach is taken by the archivist?

Course objectives

This seminar provides the student with a good overview of the archival domain. The seminar discusses the various functions of an archive in society. The literature seminar provides an overview of the diverse issues with which archival science wrestles and gives insight into the relationship between archives creation on the one hand and using the archives as a historical source in history science on the other hand.


See course-schedule

Mode of instruction

During the lectures students will discuss the main archival issues by preparing reviews of studies literature and giving short presentations

Assessment method

Presentation & participation (20%) and examination (80%)



Reading list

  • Ernst Posner, Archives in the Ancient world; with a new introduction by J.M. O’Toole (reprint Harvard 2003)[283 pp] includes: James O’Toole, ‘Back to the future: Ernst Posner’s Archives in the Ancient World’ in: The American Archivist 67 (2004) 161-175.

  • Chapters in: Yvonne Bos-Rops, Gustaaf Janssens, Charles Jeurgens en Eric Ketelaar, Lezen! Teksten over het archief (Den Haag 2009)

  • John Ridener, From polders to Postmodernism. A concise history of archival theory (2009)

  • F.R.J. Verhoeven, ‘Geschiedenis van het Indische Archiefwezen van 1816-1854’ in Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde 80, 4(1940) 461-529

  • Chapters in: P.J. Horsman, F.C.J. Ketelaar en T.H.P.M. Thomassen, Tekst en context van de Handleiding voor het ordenen en beschrijven van archieven van 1898 (Hilversum 1998).

  • Terry Cook, ‘What is Past is Prologue: a history of archival ideas since 1898, and the future paradigm shift’ in : P.J. Horsman, F.C.J. Ketelaar en T.H.P.M. Thomassen, Naar een nieuw paradigma in de archivistiek (Den Haag 1999) 29-67

  • Chapters in: Randall C. Jimmerson, American Archival Studies: Readings in Theory and Practice (Chicago 2005)

  • Jo Tollebeek, ‘“Turn’d to dust and tears” revisiting the archive’ History and Theory 43 (2004) 237-248.

  • Michael Moss, ‘Archives, the Historian and the Future’ in: Michael Bentley ed., Companion to historiography (London/New York 1997) 960-973

  • Chapters in: Sue McKemmish et all (eds) Archives: recordkeeping in society (Wagga 2005)

  • Glenn Dingwall, ‘Trusting Archivists: The role of archival ethics Codes in establishing Public Faith’ in The American Archivist 67 (2004) 11-30

  • Leen Dorsman, ‘De nieuwe eruditie. Het ontstaan van een historisch bedrijf’ in Jo Tollebeek ea (eds), De Palimpsest. Geschiedschrijving in de Nederlanden 1500-2000 (Hilversum 2002) 159-176.


See enrolment-procedure

Contact information

prof. dr. K.J.P.F.M.Jeurgens