Pennavaria, Katherine
November 2005
Kentucky Libraries;Fall2005, Vol. 69 Issue 4, p22
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the role of archivists in maintaining and gathering countless documents of the past. Hilary Jenkinson, former Deputy Keeper of Public Records in England, saw the archivist's role as primarily that of guardian or "custodian" of the materials. In contrast, T.R. Schellenberg from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration says the archivist's role is bigger than that--the archivist must be concerned not only with guarding the integrity and order of the materials, but with the quality of the records at their creation point. In 1947, an Arab shepherd boy chased an animal into a cave and discovered several jars containing leather and papyrus scrolls that were covered with writing. Some of these scrolls proved to be biblical manuscripts that predated all other surviving manuscripts by almost 1,000 years. The most amazing thing about the Dead Sea Scrolls is not that they survived, but that the texts they contain do not differ much from later manuscripts. At the very least, anyone who works with archival papers and documents, whether as librarian or staff, should push for a full cataloging of records before they are allowed to be used by anyone.


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