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By Terry Cook

Hugh A. Taylor is without doubt one of the most vital thinkers within the English-speaking global of information. A retired civil servant and archival educator, he was once named to the celebrated Order of Canada, his nation's maximum civilian award. The fifteen essays during this quantity are offered in chronological order in order that readers may perhaps enjoy the broadening evolution and wealthy interconnections in Taylor's notion as those happened over greater than 3 a long time. those essays hyperlink documents to social existence and modern principles. additionally integrated are unique essays via editors Terry prepare dinner and Gordon Dodds.

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In Western Canada, however, the evidence of the earliest settlements still lie within the files of departments which may be lost by default if the ProvincialArchvist is not active in securing them. In Alberta I am most conscious of the fact that what may seem a trivial set of records, taken individually, such as the series of chattel mortgages in court houses, may provide information on credit facilities and genealogy unavailable elsewhere, especially if the courthouse is in a rural area, which, by the nature of things, will not be heavily documented.

He was a key architect of the ”total archives” concept (and practice) at the National Archives of Canada-and earlier in England-that broadened understanding of the range and media of archives. Shortly after coming to Canada from England in 1965, Hugh was much influenced by the communications and media theories of two Canadians scholars, Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan. Beginning at that time his long series of speculative essays, Hugh blended together an acute awareness of the transforming character of new audiovisual and electronic recording media and the immense power of worldwide communication technologies, with deep historical, ecological, and spiritual perspectives.

Hugh Taylor “imagines archives” in the very same way. He seeks to articulate those deeper meanings and shared identities that might allow archivists to feel part of a community, whether they work in the public or private sector; with photography, maps, or government records; in a large national or small local institution; alone, with other archivists, or in alliance with librarians and museum curators. He searches for the inspirational bonds and intellectual possibilities that give meaning to our community.

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