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Waldo Gifford Leland and the Origins of the American Archival Profession

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  • Edited with an Introduction by Peter J. Wosh 

  • The professional accomplishments of Waldo Gifford Leland (1879-1966) are legendary: historian, surveyor of archival repositories in America and in France, father of the American Historical Association's Conference of Archivists, archival theorist, J. Franklin Jameson's key lieutenant in the battle for the establishment of the National Archives, second president of the Society of American Archivists, and long time head of the American Council of Learned Societies. This splendid classic brings together Leland's most significant writings concerning archives and archival methods, concentrating on the period from 1908 to 1920, when Leland was most involved in helping to create the American archives profession.

    Product Details

    Publisher: Society of American Archivists (2011)
    Paperback: 398 pages
    Product Dimension: 6x9 inches
    Weight: 1.172 pounds
    ISBN: 1-931666-40-7

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Waldo Gifford Leland
  • "Carefully documented and clearly written, Wosh's book is an important addition to the history of the archival profession."
    —David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

    "Wosh reveals the insights to be gained by prowling through the personal papers and other records that these pioneers left behind, but that have not been sufficiently mined. Leland is clearly portrayed as a pivotal figure in establishing new professional archival standards and, especially, in linking American activities with the international community."
    —Richard J. Cox, Retired Professor of Archival Studies, University of Pittsburgh, and author of Lester J. Cappon and the Relationship of History, Archives, and Scholarship in the Golden Age of Archival Theory

    "Skillfully blends scholarship, historical inquiry and archival science into a seamless whole, something archivists, scholars and writers often attempt to do but do not achieve as neatly as Wosh does here."
    College & Resource Libraries Journal (May 2012)

    "Anyone reading this volume will better understand the pioneering characters that contributed to creation of the archival profession and how their worldviews shaped the profession for decades to come."
    Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists (Spring 2012)

    "Leland’s contributions to the field and Wosh’s work may very well restore the community’s awareness of his voice to American archives and increase the field’s appreciation for its unique culture as a profession. For understanding the history of the profession, Wosh’s treatment of Leland may well become a core work."
    Provenance (2015)