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Libraries and Archives - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843346425, 9781780633121

Libraries and Archives

1st Edition

A Comparative Study

Author: Tomas Lidman
eBook ISBN: 9781780633121
Paperback ISBN: 9781843346425
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 22nd June 2012
Page Count: 140
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Table of Contents

List of figures

List of abbreviations



About the author

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Pre-historic times


Ebla – archive or library?

Alexandria – library or archive?

Summary and reflections

Chapter 3: National libraries and archives from early modern times to 1900


The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe

Founding of the institution – archives

Libraries and legal deposit

Summary and reflections on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – fundamental changes


Cataloguing, or how to describe the physical objects?

Summary and reflections on the nineteenth century

Chapter 4: Twentieth-century libraries



The transformation of library infrastructures

The national bibliography as core activity

The indispensible quality of union catalogues

The content of legislation and its impact and challenges

The New Age – meeting challenges and incorporating new technologies

Chapter 5: Twentieth-century archives



Legal support

Problems and possibilities with standardisation

Appraisal – challenging, but necessary

Summary and conclusion

Chapter 6: What’s in store?



The digital crossroads

Final words




Libraries and Archives analyses the facts and arguments behind an increasing debate as to what extent libraries and archives are fulfilling the same missions. Despite the fact that they have different legal statuses, legal frameworks, and the work-flow looks very different, some politicians and bureaucrats think that there is much to gain if the two institutions work closely together or even merge. To understand the present situation it is important to have an understanding of the role of libraries and archives and their shared history. Therefore the development up to the present day is analysed in the first chapters of the book. The book stimulates debate and brings forth valuable facts about the topic. The main focus is on national libraries and national and regional archives from an international point of view.

Key Features

  • Offers a simple but comprehensive background to explain key issues behind the current debate
  • Provides librarians and archivists with arguments
  • The author has more than 40 years experience on the national and international archive and library scene


Practitioners and students of Library and Information Science and Archive Science


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2012
22nd June 2012
Chandos Publishing
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:


"Lidman sets out the different roles of the two types of institutions in a clear and succinct way, providing the reader with essential points of the legal and historical settings without oversimplifying matters. His arguments are cogent and persuasive, and he makes a convincing and realistic case for collaboration and cooperation in the future. This is an important and timely essay, which should be required reading for librarians and archivists alike."--The Australian Library Journal, Vol. 62, No. 3, 2013

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Tomas Lidman

Dr. Tomas Lidman is currently leading a National Committee on Literature at the Ministry of Culture in Sweden. Until 2010 he was a national archivist in Sweden, and prior to this he was University Librarian in Stockholm. Dr. Lidman has overseen a variety of endeavours including project-leader in EU, IFLA, UNESCO, and Vice President of ICA (2005-2009). Since 2003 he has held the Presidency of the Royal Institute of Fine Arts in Stockholm and between 1995 and 2003 he was a national librarian. He took his PhD in History in 1979 and has written several books in History, Librarianship and Library history. In 2008 he wrote Scientific Libraries: Past development and future changes, for Chandos.

Affiliations and Expertise

Ministry of Culture, Sweden