Print version ISSN 0104-9313
CUNHA, Olívia Maria Gomes da. Imperfect tense: an ethnography of the archive.Translated byDavid Allan Rodgers. Mana [online]. 2006, vol.1Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-9313.
In this article, ethnographic archives and their doubles, personal archives, are analyzed as cultural constructions whose comprehension is essential to understanding the ways in which professional narratives are produced and how their invention results from an intense dialogue involving imagination and intellectual authority. Taking the Ruth Landes Papers held by the National Anthropological Archives (Smithsonian Institution) as its object of analysis, the text examines the various logics informing the institution of thematic limits to the archives, their criteria for legitimacy and inclusion, the transformation of their author's work instruments into 'artefacts', 'documents' and 'sources'; their conceptions of 'documentary value,' their internal economy and their uses in the continual (if shifting) reification of the authority of their 'authors' as key figures within anthropology's different histories.
Keywords : Ethnography; History; Archives; Memory; Ruth Landes.