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Elizabeth C. Macknight

This article presents two case studies, from Scotland and the Scottish Islands, of communities' engagement with archives and their attitudes toward heritage. The case studies arise out of knowledge transfer between an historian employed in an academic role at a Scottish university and two “third sector“ organizations. By comparing the perspectives of historians, archivists, and community organizations the article shows the different ways in which these separate interest groups perceive the value of archives. It then points to some of the possibilities and challenges of working collaboratively to deepen understanding about the past and to create wider opportunities, now and in the future, for historical interpretation, teaching, learning, and research. In the era of digital technologies, it is recommended that undergraduate students be taught the key concepts of archival theory and practice, while also being encouraged to experience working with original archival documents.

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Yves Pourcher

Cet article revient sur le parcours d'un personnage politique important de l'entre-deux-guerres en France qui oscilla entre la gauche et la droite et finit serviteur du régime de Vichy. Après avoir recensé les principaux travaux portant sur Gaston Bergery, ce texte insiste sur son ambiguïté et sa complexité. Bourgeois, élu de gauche, directeur d'un journal, avocat d'un courant politique opposant le communisme et le fascisme tout en aimant la vie mondaine, Bergery perturbe les cadres classiques du politique. Pour tenter de le saisir, plusieurs archives sont revisitées: ses dossiers d'officier et d'ambassadeur, les documents de son procès. Les différents portraits qu'ont tracés de lui des contemporains sont aussi rappelés. Une enquête pour retrouver des témoins est menée. Toutes les informations recueillies soulignent les paradoxes et les contradictions d'un individu. Le cas Gaston Bergery s'avère être une entrée passionnante qui permet de relire une époque et un milieu.

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Yves Pourcher

This article retraces the career of an important political figure from the interwar period in France who oscillated between Left and Right and ended up as a lackey to the Vichy regime. After reviewing the principal work pertaining to Bergery, this article emphasizes his ambiguity and complexity. A bourgeois, a left-wing elected official, the director of a newspaper, advocating a political current opposing communism and fascism even as he pursued an active life as a social butterfly, Bergery disrupts classical political categories. To try to get a grip on him, several archives are revisited: his officer's and ambassador's dossiers, the documents of his trial. A search for eyewitnesses is conducted. All the information gathered underlines the paradoxes and contradictions of an individual. Gaston Bergery's case proves to be a fascinating entry point by which to re-read an era and a milieu.

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Lee Komito

The analysis of electronic versus paper documents, especially in the context of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), has often focused on affordances, issues of design and implementation, and work practices. Issues of culture are often understated in such studies. Yet, like any object of material culture, the use of paper files, as well as an aversion to electronic information sharing, is conditioned by the cultural and political background of a society. This article will suggest that the persistence of paper files in a section of the Irish civil service during the 1990s had much to do with issues of accountability and a cult of expertise, in which papers files, as material objects, were deployed on behalf of claims of expertise and power. This intertwining of power, politics and information is a feature of Irish society, and the discourse of expertise and power is a theme that permeates many aspects of Irish culture.

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Magda Veselská

The Jewish Museum in Prague (JMP) was founded as an association in 1906.2 The largest expansion of its collections occurred in tragic circumstances during the Second World War, when almost all the Judaica, books, manuscripts and archival documents of the former Jewish religious communities in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were gathered in the depositories of the Central Jewish Museum in Prague.3 At the time, the museum was administered by the Jewish religious community in Prague, which was put under so-called ‘national trusteeship’ after the end of the war.4 In 1949, with a view to maintaining the completeness of the museum’s collections, the legal successor to the pre-war Jewish communities – the Council of Jewish Religious Communities in the Czech Lands (hereafter cited as the Jewish Council) – definitively renounced its restitution claims to items that had been shipped to the museum during the war.

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Malini Sur

Life Cycle ethnographically and visually documents the everyday use of bicycles among Kolkata’s city dwellers. Winding through the city’s congested thoroughfares and narrow by-lanes, we follow daily wageworkers, including migrants from eastern India, environmentalists, teachers, and activists, who cycle for a living. In this documentary (forty-two minutes) and the broader ethnographic project within which it is situated, I investigate how cycling mediates people’s changing relationships to cities in South Asia. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), the largest city in eastern India, is the primary focus of Life Cycle. This city has 1.68 million cyclists, records 2.5 million cycle trips a day, has the least amount of road space (6 percent) in metropolitan India, and has the second highest air pollution level. By 2017, traffic regulations prohibited cycling on seventy city roads.

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Radical Mobilities on Display

The Motorway Aesthetics of Postwar Oslo

Even Smith Wergeland

This article explores the 1965 Transport Analysis for Greater Oslo, a municipal planning document in which the routing of a large urban motorway through Oslo is richly illustrated in a series of drawings and prints. The images on display in the Transport Analysis were widely circulated in the mid- to late 1960s, thereby creating a mobile exhibition that reached a wide audience and connected with a number of other images. Through this circulation, the Transport Analysis became entangled in an intricate visual discourse that aestheticized urban motorways and linked up with radical currents in European postwar architecture. While the Transport Analysis has previously been interpreted quite narrowly, merely as the product of a pragmatic engineering mind-set, this article posits that one must move beyond the technocratic level to unravel its wider meanings.

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Fabrice Virgili and Danièle Voldman

Last spring in France a controversy arose over an exhibit of André Zucca's photographs of Paris under German occupation. The well-known photo journalist worked for the Nazi magazine Signal during World War II. For that reason, some people disapproved of an exhibit on the work of a former "collaborateur," a man who, in a way, helped Hitler's Germany. Those who prepared the exhibit justified the project on the basis of the beauty of Zucca's colored photos and the rarity of wartime color photos. They insisted on the importance of his use of agfacolor film, which was generally available only to Germans. Critics of the exhibition found Zucca's privileged access all the more disturbing. An analysis of the archives from the period exposes the complexity of the affair and the need for further research. Evidence from documents on Zucca's activity and opinions during the war reveal a man little interested in the world except to photograph it.

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A War of Words over an Image of War

The Fox Movietone Scandal and the Portrayal of French Violence in Algeria, 1955-1956

Emma Kuby

During the Algerian War, films and published photographs documenting brutalities committed by French forces were exceedingly rare, due to censorship and strict controls on journalistic access to the military. However, a dramatic exception to this state of affairs came at an early moment in the war, after a Fox Movietone cameraman captured footage of a French gendarme as he summarily executed an Algerian with a bullet in the back. When the journal L'Express printed frames from the film in December 1955, a scandal ensued that implicated the sitting government in Paris and stoked French anti-Americanism. This article explores the reasons for the scandal, its anatomy, and its longer-term implications for French representations of the violence of the Algerian conflict. It argues that widespread French assumptions about the appropriateness of France's role in Algeria ultimately served to neutralize the story told by the images, even as they were recognized as incontrovertible evidence of atrocity.

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Off-grid Mobilities

Incorporating a Way of Life

Phillip: Taggart Vannini

Drawing from sensory ethnography, the present multimodal writing—accompanied by photography and digital video—documents and interprets the mobilities of off-grid living on Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, Canada. The data presentation focuses in particular on the embodied experience of off-grid inhabitation, highlighting the sensory and kinetic experiences and practices of everyday life in a community disconnected from the North American electrical grid and highway network. The mobilities of fuel and energy are presented in unison with ethnographic attention to the taskscape of everyday activities and movements in which off-grid islanders routinely engage. The analysis, based on Tim Ingold's non-representational theory on place, movement, and inhabitation, focuses on how the material and corporeal mobilities of off-grid life body forth a unique sense of place.