“Bureaucracy,” in Eduardo Staszowski and Virginia Tassinari, eds., Designing in Dark Times: An Arendtian Lexicon, (London: Bloomsbury Press, 2020): 66-9.
Today in my Archives, Libraries + Databases grad seminar we’re starting our database unit. I’ve got lots of great material to share, and it’s proving somewhat difficult to keep track of all the videos, images, etc., in my lesson plan — so I figured I’d just dump everything into a blog post. It’ll keep me more organized and it’ll allow others to have access to this material, too.
I wrote about paperwork, play, and the aesthetics of administration — using Mina Johnson and Norman Kallaus’s 1967 Records Management textbook as my launching pad — for the Reanimation Library‘s “Word Processor” series. Here’s my intro:
For more than half a century Jack Wilkinson’s office supply store stood on the corner of Allegheny Street and Cherry Alley in my hometown of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. When I was a little girl, we’d make frequent visits—not to stock up on supplies for my dad’s hardware store or my mom’s classroom and volunteer activities, but at my request. On birthdays and Christmas I’d come in with a list: invoices, restaurant order forms, cash box, label maker, rubber date stamp, accounting book. These were my toys.
“Bureaucracy’s Playthings,” Reanimation Library’s Word Processor (October 29, 2013)
on the aesthetics of record-keeping and paperwork