, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 373-376

Genre studies and archives: introduction to the special issue

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Genre can be defined as a pattern of communication that conforms to community norms. Genres are not fixed, but are constantly evolving and emerging. Examples of familiar genres range from speech utterances to publications, from text messages to databases, from blogs to formal reports. Genre studies are a multi-disciplinary area, which has the potential to yield much of relevance to the archival community.

With these words, we introduced our call for the papers for this special issue of Archival Science. We were cautiously optimistic that authors would come forward with interesting and insightful papers on various aspects of genre and archives. We received a tremendous response, with a large number of very promising proposals. The seven papers that subsequently made it through the reviewing process into this special issue represent the highest quality submissions, but by no means the totality of research activity in archival science with a focus on genre.

The concept of genre is not one t