About

The NYU Workshop in Archival Practice is a working group sponsored by the Graduate Program in English at NYU and composed of graduate students whose research interests involve archives–material, digital or conceptual. We host workshops led by advanced and innovative scholars and archivists on topics generated by graduate students. This working group is an open forum for graduate students across the humanities to build interdisciplinary community and to participate in hands-on discussions about how to make archival practice part of their scholarly training, teaching philosophy and creative process.  We welcome students, archivists and faculty from any discipline. Follow us on Twitter @NYUArchiveWork to receive our most up-to-the-minute information on events and opportunities to come together.

A little bit of history…

In the spring of 2010, a group of graduate students from NYU’s Departments of History, English and Social and Cultural Analysis came together to explore archives as sites of institutional change, development and collaboration.  In addition, these students sought to engage with archives as places where the work of scholars, record-keepers, artists, digital preservationists and curators could be understood to intersect.  The result was  “Discussing the Archive: Ideas, Practices, Institutions,” a series of five panels dedicated to exploring the growing interdisciplinary body of work on the archive. The NYU Workshop in Archival Practice emerged directly from questions raised by “Discussing the Archive” with a dual mission: to preserve the productive dialogue between academic scholars and practicing archivists and to sustain a collaborative environment of intellectual exchange for the exploration of theoretical and practical questions facing researchers and archivists in the humanities.

Conceived by and for working graduate students and young scholars, the Workshop offers an open forum for graduate students across the humanities to discuss making archival practice, “working the archive,” a part of their scholarly training, teaching philosophy and creative process.  We invite established scholars and professional archivists alike to describe their own experiences with archival practice in a more intimate format.  Instead of relegating student questions to the Q&A portion of a traditional panel or paper presentation, we encourage graduate students to bring their own work into the conversation with these visiting experts. Our hope is that by engaging closely with experienced scholars and archival professionals, graduate students in the New York area will gain hands-on access both to best practices in archival work and to a larger community of peers.

Our Spring 2011 Workshop series, “From Process to Product: Working the Archive,” addresses issues that advance the conversation from discussing archival processes to articulating the possible outcomes or products of archival research and writing. The following question will guide us: as teachers and as scholars, how can we make archives relevant to our own work while increasing possibilities for the public work they should do? Since then, we have explored the intersection between archives and digital humanities and collaborated on a number of symposia on topics from New York networks to hip-hop archives. Follow us on Twitter @NYUArchiveWork to receive our most up-to-the-minute information on events and opportunities to come together.

The NYU Workshop in Archival Practice operates out of the NYU Department of English. Our past co-sponsors include the Departments of History and Social and Cultural Analysis, the Program in Archives and Public History and the Humanities Initiative at NYU.

Workshops are open to any and all graduate students in the humanities, as well as to scholars and archivists whose work involves archival practice. Please join us!