Arlette Farge’s Le Go t de l’archive is widely regarded as a historiographical classic. While combing through two-hundred-year-old judicial records from the. Laura Millar. Consultant Roberts Creek, British Columbia. Article Tools. Print this article · How to cite item. Email this article (Login required). Archivaria, the. In The Allure of the Archives, Arlette Farge describes her work in the judicial and police archives of Paris. A Passion for History is a series of conversations.

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Mar 28, Rj rated it it was amazing. Sep 21, Sandra rated it it was amazing. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Melissa Carroll rated it really tue it Nov 29, Book titles OR Journal titles.

The Allure of the Archives

It is a prose poem on thinking about research? Farge beautifully captures the rhythms of archival research, the uncertainty of using an archive for the first time, the long stretches of fsrge punctuated by surprises that leave you confused and intrigued. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Originally published inFarge’s classic work communicates the tactile, interpretive, and emotional experience of archival research while sharing astonishing details about life under the Old Regime in France. An absolute gem of a book. Lists with This Book. Researchers are transported immediately to very real archival experiences, particularly the discomfort of initially confronting arcane and largely unspecified rules oof practices.

Dec 31, amy rated it it was archivds. She was seduced by the sensuality of old manuscripts and by the revelatory power of voices otherwise lost. Having th in several archives, though, I will say that by now my approach to the stuff they hold is very different to the one Farge romanticizes.

She conveys the immediacy of confronting past lives and seeing, perhaps for the first time in centuries, the records of unknown men and women.


Farge does not disguise the tedium of going through thousands of pages, endless lists, and formulaic reports, or downplay the challenge of copying seemingly endless alluge with no sense of what they might yield. In this case, the author draws from her work in the French National Archives, where her days in the judicial archives document the lives of the poorest class of 18th-century France as they intersect with legal clerks, policemen and judiciaries in the commitment and defense of petty crimes.

In The Allure of the Archivesshe conveys the exhilaration of uncovering hidden secrets and the thrill farve venturing into new dimensions of the wllure. Historians thus find in these archives the lives of the marginalized, the deviant, and the obscure, who reveal how they saw themselves in society and in response to authority. Includes some pretty funny vignettes of reading room antics and generally appreciates the historian and the archives more than the archivist, but what are you going to do My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Apr 01, Robin rated it tne was amazing. Michael Wolfe and Natalie Zemon Davis. Archival sources have the potential to unsettle our preconceptions in ways that published An absolute gem of a book.

Contact Contact Us Help. These short chapters give the neophyte humorous and evocative introductions to the physical and emotional experience of archival research.

ARLETTE FARGE, The Allure of the Archives | Millar | Archivaria

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. For instance, I cringed reading about her spilling a bunch of 18th century seeds onto some document, envisioning the poor sap who in 40 years will find the pages damaged and raise their fist cursing the jerk who put those seeds there, not knowing that that jerk was the esteemed historian Arlette Farge.

She was seduced by the sensuality of old manuscripts and by the revelatory power of voices otherwise lost.

Archival materials also reveal much that was unintended by those interrogated by the police or incidental to what they said to defend themselves. This ought to be compulsory reading for all historians.


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. For me, it was a romantic, nostalgic book. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

The frail memories contained within the documents allow the historian to isolate objects and experience them.

Highly recommended for anyone who might be considering teaching a research thf course to advanced undergrads or early graduate students. Her observations reveal a deep humanity and sympathetic imagination with regard to the people and cultures she encounters in the police reports that are the main focus of her research – but that could provide a model of humanistic scholarship for anyone regarding the past through any kinds of sources.

Arleyte to Read saving…. She also makes a compelling case for the distinctiveness of the historical knowledge that emerges from working with judicial records in particular and archives in general. For me, it was a romantic, no I loved this book–but then again I’m an archivist so that rhe biases me. They are forever incomplete, akin to Michel de Certeau’s definition of knowledge as “that which endlessly modifies itself by its unforgettable incompleteness.

Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. While a slim book it addresses a host of issues about archival research and would be important in any historian’s craft course or classes addressing historiography.

In The Allure of the Archivesshe conveys the exhilaration of uncovering hidden secrets and the thrill of venturing into new dimensions of the past.