Professional status and status as profession

I liked reading Tilden (and it sounds like at least Gail did, too). But this post provides a useful counterpoint. There are foundational texts, and then there is current work. Interpreting Our Heritage is definitely in the first camp. From my introduction to it thusfar, interpretation seems akin to the archival profession, in its practitioners’ desire to make it a professionalized field (even Tilden’s thoughts on how to achieve adequacy, since not everyone is capable of genius, point in this direction). Deufel’s call for more research echoes those from the archival profession. I cannot tell to what extent those arguments are motivated by practical concerns (research leads to more/better/current information, which allows practitioners to work more effectively) versus status (“no, I’m not filing these papers, I’m processing them”). Of course, status concerns have practical implications, and vice versa…. Mostly I’m just sort of curious about other people’s headspace, as I work on mapping out my own.

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