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The Role of Calendars in Constructing a Community of Historical Workers in the Public Records Office of Great Britain ca. 1850s–1950s

Genre Theory in Information Studies

ISBN: 978-1-78441-255-5, eISBN: 978-1-78441-254-8

ISSN: 2055-5377

Publication date: 6 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the relationship between and among genres, discourse communities, and their associated ideologies by means of a historical case study of the rise and decline of a particular archival finding aid genre, i.e., the calendar, within the Public Records Office of Great Britain (PRO) between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.

Findings

The study demonstrates the ways in which the calendar genre, as it evolved in the PRO, reproduced, framed, and perpetuated a progressive, consensual understanding of the history of the British nation, and worked to construct a community of historical workers comprising select members of the PRO’s professional staff and select users.

Originality/value

The study deepens and extends understanding of discourse communities and the ideologies they promote and suppress and contributes to the emergent understanding of archival finding aids as socio-cultural texts by exposing the ways in which they participate in the formation and shaping of knowledge.

Keywords

Citation

MacNeil, H. (2015), "The Role of Calendars in Constructing a Community of Historical Workers in the Public Records Office of Great Britain ca. 1850s–1950s", Genre Theory in Information Studies (Studies in Information, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 91-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-537720140000011006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited