"Picking Our Text" by Heather MacNeil [favorite article of Bill Landis]

Name: Bill Landis

Title: Head of Public Services, Manuscripts and Archives

Institution: Yale University Library

Years in Profession: 19

Title of Influential American Archivist Article: "Picking Our Text: Archival Description, Authenticity, and the Archivist as Editor"

Author(s) of Article: Heather MacNeil

Volume and Date: 68 (Fall/Winter 2005)

How has this article influenced you as an archivist?

It made me sit up and take notice, in a visceral way, to the incredible lack of transparency in our descriptive tools and metadata for our future generations of users. Heather MacNeil does an incredible job of unpacking the hidden assumptions we've developed as a profession over decades and provides clear and enlightening examples to problematize those assumptions and practices from the perspective of researchers trying to use archival collections to support arguments, draw conclusions, and otherwise do the kinds of things we say are important to us and are the very reason for the existence of our profession and the work we do to preserve documentation.