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Navigating Reference Requests (Accrual): An Examination of Academic Archivists’ Use of Reference Tools.
Association of Canadian Archivists (2016)
  • Anne Daniel
  • Amanda Jamieson, Western University
  • Amanda Oliver, Western University
Traditionally, archivists have created finding aids to be used as access points to fonds and collections.  The creation of finding aids is a core archival function that continues today; however, the increasing availability of technology such as databases and open source archival management systems is changing the way that archivists do their work. Technology based resources are becoming a necessary part of archival practice. Archivists have access to an increasing number of innovative tools that can be used when answering reference inquiries.   
While many studies have been conducted exploring the relationship between reference resources and researchers not much has been written about the relationship between these resources and archivists. This study looks at tools used by academic archivists when answering reference questions. An initial survey was conducted that asked the following questions:  Which reference tools do archivists working in academic archives use when answering reference questions; How frequently do archivists use each reference tool when answering reference questions.   
From that initial study we conducted a more in depth case study to address the following questions:  Why do archivists use the tools that they use?  What are the barriers that archivists encounter when trying to use innovative tools?  What are the opportunities that come with using innovative tools in archival practice?
The results of this study show that while archival management systems are primarily used, other traditional resources, such as finding aids, are used in conjunction with other tools. 
  • Archives,
  • archivists,
  • reference services
Publication Date
Summer June, 2016
Montreal, Quebec
Citation Information
Anne Daniel, Amanda Jamieson and Amanda Oliver. "Navigating Reference Requests (Accrual): An Examination of Academic Archivists’ Use of Reference Tools." Association of Canadian Archivists (2016)
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