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On Thu, 15 Sep 2005, Steven C. Barr wrote:

> My real point was that folks in upper-level archiving positions
> often lack the innate knowledge which they really need to complete
> their tasks...and I don't think anyone is able to provide that
> knowledge, which is unfortunate and which also affects the
> quality of our archives and archival data. Dunno how to fix that,
> though...

I agree that archive management is well served by those with an intimate
knowledge of the subject. Library (or information schools) are primarily a
training ground for librarians. Archival work is very different in terms
of the depth of subject specific knowledge required, as well as knowledge
of the organizational methodologies which are specific to archives,
which, by definition, are not the same as one finds in libraries.

One of my most informative off list exchanges was with Matt at New York
Public...I don't want to misquote him...and feel to correct me, but I
believe he suggested that one of the problems is that libraries often
assume responsibility for archives. They are really very different.

I also believe that subject specific knowledge is the most important job
qualification  in any research collection (library), but not at
the expense of some familiarity of library procedures. I am pleased when I
read a job posting for an archive or research collection, which states
the qualification "MLS, or its equivalent in training and/or experience is
preferred."

Karl