An archive is a historical record, albeit always an incomplete record, and at its most basic level, archival research involves consulting an archive. Most archives preserve and provide access to original primary source material. Because an archive is simply a record or collection, an archive can contain a wide variety of primary source material including journals, letters, speeches, published writings, physical objects, newspaper clippings, radio or television broadcasts, and much more. It is important for researchers of all disciplines, including communication studies, to be able to analyze an archive using many different methodologies. This entry provides an overview of archival analysis, including discussions of the process of selecting—or omitting—certain materials to be archived, how archives serve as memory devices for scholars and the ...
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