Uses of archives as creative activity: what does it mean to be creative within the archive and library profession?

Archivists and art librarians are well-versed in developing activities and projects using archives and library materials in object-based learning activities, and in engaging artists and creative practitioners with archives and special collections. But what does framing the uses of archives as creative activity really mean for the way in which we work on a practical level?

I expand this question from the initial blog post I wrote: ‘Possibilities of archives’ ( Can we, like the creative practitioners we engage with, be truly creative – and, if so, what could this look like?

It is a pertinent question because creativity, in part, enables us to progress and innovate as the archive and library sectors continue to evolve.

I take an interdisciplinary approach to developing workshops as demonstrative case studies, with intersections from archival theory, education, and the visual arts. I first outline what creativity could look like when developing Creative Workshops from within an archival context. I also outline and reflect on how being creative can be beneficial to our profession as well as to the wider arts communities who engage with art archives and special collections.

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