Archives are considered to be collections of administrative, legal, commercial and other records or the actual place where they are located. They have become ubiquitous in the modern world, but emerged not much later than the invention of writing.
Following Foucault, who first used the word archive in a metaphorical sense as "the general system of the formation and transformation of statements" in his "Archaeology of Knowledge" (1969), postmodern theorists have tried to exploit the potential of this concept and initiated the "archival turn". In recent years, however, archives have attracted the attention of anthropologists and historians of different denominations regarding them as historical objects and "grounding" them again in real institutions.
The papers in this volume explore the complex topic of the archive in a historical, systematic and comparative context and view it in the broader context of manuscript cultures by addressing questions like how, by whom and for which purpose were archival records produced, and if they differ from literary manuscripts regarding materials, formats, and producers (scribes).
About the Author
A. Bausi, C. Brockmann, M. Friedrich, and S. Kienitz, University of Hamburg.
Table of Contents
Preface: The Editors ix
Prologue: Contemporary Practices of Archiving
How to Distinguish between Manuscripts and Archival Records: A Study in Archival Theory Dietmar Schenk 3
Archives from Tibet and the Himalayan Borderlands: Notes on Form and Content Charles Ramble 19
The Ancient World up to Late Antiquity
Constitution, Contents, Filing and Use of Private Archives: The Case of the Old Assyrian Archives (nineteenth century BCE) Cécile Michel 43
Archives in Ancient Egypt, 2500-1000 BCE Fredrik Hagen Daniel Soliman 71
Archives and Libraries in Greco-Roman Egypt Jean-Luc Fournet 171
Libraries and Archives in the Former Han Dynasty (206 BCE-9 CE): Arguing for a Distinction Max Jakob Fölster 201
Setting a Bishopric / Arranging an Archive: Traces of Archival Activity in the Bishopric of Alexandria and Antioch Alberto Camplani 231
Documents, Acts and Archival Habits in Early Christian Church Councils: A Case Study Thomas Graumann 273
The Middle Ages
Weighing in on Evidence: Documents and Literary Manuscripts in Early Medieval Japan Mikael S. Adolphson 297
Securing and Preserving Written Documents in Byzantium Michael Grünbart 319
Archival Practices in the Muslim World prior to 1500 Jürgen Paul 339
The Power of the Pen: Cadis and their Archives: From Writings to Registering Proof of a previous Action taken Christian Müller 361
Indian Copper-Plate Grants: Inscriptions or Documents? Emmanuel Francis 387
Epilogue: Why and how to compare
Epilogue: Archives and Archiving across Cultures-Towards a Matrix of Analysis Markus Friedrich 421
List of Contributors 446