Archival Science

, 9:87 | Cite as

‘What a setting for a mystery’: Yaddo, the Yaddo records, and the memory of place

  • Ben AlexanderEmail author
Original paper


‘Yaddo’, recalled composer Aaron Copland, ‘became so much a part of my life that I tend to forget how strange the name sounds to those not familiar with it.’ By its very delineation, vagary of purpose, and posture of cloistered withdrawal, Yaddo is defined by a meticulously cultivated and carefully guarded tradition of community and cultural identity; one that was carefully preserved (and, in turn was informed by) the formation of an archive. My point of query centers on the particular consequences of the bond between historical trace and physical place being severed (as perhaps it always must be) when the very materiality that informs an institution’s ‘memory’ is irrevocably distanced.


Community Cultural identity Archival records Yaddo 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College Libraries, Queens CollegeThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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