We’ve all heard it before. A researcher makes a groundbreaking discovery…in an archives. Who should get the round of applause? The researcher or the archivist who processed and/or catalogued the collection?
About a month ago, news broke that there was new insight into Lincoln’s final hours. A researcher found a report from the first doctor who treated Lincoln. The report was heralded as a discovery, however, it was found filed away in a collection in the National Archives. This week there has been a bit of a point/counterpoint discussion with two opinion pieces from the Atlantic: Note Bene: If You ‘Discover’ Something in an Archive, It’s Not a Discovery and Actually, Yes, It *Is* a Discovery If You Find Something in an Archive That No One Knew Was There.
Now we ask you—can something be discovered in an archives? Take a look at the two pieces and take the poll. We’ll report the response here on the blog.
This I&A poll is open to all and will be accepting responses through July 1, 2016.