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The Handbook of Archival Practice

Rowman & Littlefield Sept. 2021. 510p. ed. by Patricia C. Franks. ISBN 9781538137345. $95. PRO MEDIA
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This work edited by Franks (professor of archives and record administration, Sch. of Information, San José State Univ.) is jam-packed with knowledge that can be utilized at any skill level, whether readers are amateur or expert archivists. It covers a multitude of topics, including disaster planning, processing collections, and digital preservation; each chapter is paired with an up-to-date list of references. The book’s index, lists of figures and tables, and appendixes are immensely helpful for students or those researching in adjacent fields; librarians who might someday have to work with archival materials may also find the handbook helpful. Practical and anecdotal insight from Franks and other archivists elevates the text and distinguishes the handbook from other how-to guides in the field. One of the most valuable chapters, “The Prevailing Environment,” explores social matters such as repatriation, archival activism, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the profession. Franks’s account of her experience with archival activism is particularly thought-provoking, and her message is vital to the mission of archival accessibility.
VERDICT This comprehensive guide will be a staple for any archival student or professional.
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