new us archivist

Without too much fanfare, Allen Weinstein became the Ninth Archivist of the United States last week. You might recall that the society of American Archivists expressed serious reservation with the process that brought Weinstein’s name to the table though they stopped short of opposing his appointment. More over at Daily Kos. It will be interesting to see what happens during his tenure.

[outgoing US Archivist] Carlin was dismissed right before Bush 41’s papers were to become available to the public under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act; this seems unlikely to be a coincidence. As someone working in a number of archives, I know from experience that it is VERY easy for an archivist to drag his/her feet on making a collection accessible; especially for a collection as massive as the files of a President’s Office, the archivist really has to want to release the files to get them out on time. Bush 43, as evidenced by his executive order earlier in his term extending restrictions on presidential papers, does not want this; in light of what appears to be an obviously political appointment, it will remain to be seen whether Dr. Weinstein will want it, or will be able to want it.