Conducting Archival Research

The value of primary source research

Archival collections document and show us a filmmaker, an author, or a creator making and remaking, practicing their craft. Archival collections value practice— drafts, outtakes, correspondence, and ephemera that might have been made for a passing purpose, such as advertising a movie.

Unpublished manuscripts demonstrate vision and commitment, the fortitude to sit at the typewriter and create page after page one letter at a time. Many of these materials show their age in rusted staples and yellowing paper—stewarded with the mark of faith that one day they might be important.

Archives are not neutral

Ashley D. Stevens, archivist, social media campaign