Publication Reviews

Archival Afterlives: Life, Death, and Knowledge-Making in Early Modern British Scientific and Medical Archives. Edited by Vera Keller, Anna Marie Roos, and Elizabeth Yale. [Review]

Author
  • Brian D. Fors (Medical University of South Carolina)

Abstract

Most extraordinary about this collection of essays documenting the life cycle of archives covering early modern scientific and medical thought, with the exception of one example of born-digital preservation, is that these archives survived at all. Essentially private archives until the papers contained in them had been obtained by institutions such as the Royal Society, the Ashmolean, and the Wellcome Library, the letters, studies, experiments, theories, speculations, and ephemera discussed in the essays underwent unpredictable transformational journeys. The history of these archives will cause archivists, librarians, scientists, and researchers reading the stories to gasp and to pine for lost items. The essays in Archival Afterlives: Life, Death, and Knowledge-Making in Early Modern British Scientific and Medical Archives present eight examples of scientific and medical collections that had been assembled; were transformed through publication, disaster, and handling; and eventually ended up as organized archives that have been preserved and passed on to become an important body of thought informing the modern scientific world. The eight essays, three written individually by the editors, constitute volume 23 of the publisher’s Scientific and Learned Cultures and Their Institutions series. The volume is based on a 2015 conference sponsored by the Royal Society in England.

How to Cite:

Fors, B. D., (2020) “Archival Afterlives: Life, Death, and Knowledge-Making in Early Modern British Scientific and Medical Archives. Edited by Vera Keller, Anna Marie Roos, and Elizabeth Yale. [Review]”, Archival Issues 40(2), p.76-78. doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/archivalissues.11893

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Published on
10 Dec 2020