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Communities, Archives and New Collaborative Practices$
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Simon Popple, Andrew Prescott, and Daniel Mutibwa

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447341895

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447341895.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Mainstream institutional collecting of anti-institutional archives: opportunities and challenges

Mainstream institutional collecting of anti-institutional archives: opportunities and challenges

Chapter:
(p.167) 12 Mainstream institutional collecting of anti-institutional archives: opportunities and challenges
Source:
Communities, Archives and New Collaborative Practices
Author(s):

Anna Sexton

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447341895.003.0012

This chapter uses the Wellcome Library's archive collecting around the treatment and experience of ‘mad people’ as a case study for exploring the opportunities and challenges that arise from mainstream attempts to introduce counter-narratives into the archive. The argument laid out in this chapter is based on observations at the Wellcome Library. It uses an auto-ethnographic approach, combined with in-depth interviews with Special Collections staff, to seek to understand perceptions and practice around collection development. In seeking to understand the representation of the treatment and experience of ‘mad people’ within the archives and manuscripts collections held by the Wellcome Library, the chapter focuses on madness from the 19th century to the present. It reveals that the most dominant and prevailing archival collection strength across this time period is focused on personal papers of eminent ‘psy’ experts (psychiatric specialists, psychoanalysts, psychologists, and related therapists).

Keywords:   Wellcome Library, anti-institutional archives, mad people, counter-narratives, collection development, madness, psy experts

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