Of space, time, and the archives between: the life of Hugh A. Taylor and the redefinition of the archival cosmos
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While today, archival theory is permeated with postmodern ideas and philosophies, borrowing from fields as diverse as anthropology and computer science, even just a few decades ago, this was far from the case. This transition was pioneered and strongly influenced by the imaginative and thought-provoking essays of Hugh Taylor, a Canadian archivist who developed a worldview that positioned archives and archivists at centre stage. Taylor was able to do so as a result of his fascination with the works of the media theorist, Marshall McLuhan, whose ideas Taylor found directly applicable to archives and archival theory. This thesis examines the mental state of Hugh Taylor throughout his life and how this mental state shaped his revolutionary concepts, which delved into epistemology and metaphysics, placing archives at the centre of a universal network of connections. These concepts would go on to drastically change archival theory to what it is today.
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