Seedbanks, or so-called archival arks of the apocalypse, are addressing accelerating anthropocentric alterations to the environment by collecting, storing, and preserving seeds. These are specialized archival repositories that approach, frame, and use seeds as documents for agricultural and scientific research, classification and preservation work, and various other archival and administrative purposes. Seedbanks indeed are archives of unconventional records.
This article introduces the concept of natureculture document as a framing device in which to help analyze the documentary status of objects that are not necessarily or usually considered as documents or having documentary characteristics. This concept, coupled with its interdisciplinary theoretical tools, offers fresh conceptual approaches to help analyze the documentary status of objects that are not typically considered documents. Drawing upon scholarship in documentation studies, environmental science, information philosophy, and feminist studies, this article begins a conceptual intervention within and for archival science through this concept and its application to seeds within seedbanks.
The aim is to help broaden understandings of documents within specialized archival contexts, such as these archival arks of the apocalypse. The concept of natureculture document also serves as a point of departure for further studies of the documentation of objects that are regarded as unconventional or unusual within archival, administrative, and other institutional settings. It is hoped that this article contributes to greater scholarly attentiveness to our diverse and fragile more-than-human world constituted of and by humans and nonhumans, from seeds to documentation.
"The Concept of Natureculture Document: A Conceptual Exploration of Seeds, Embodied Information, and Unconventional Records,"
Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 7
, Article 15.
Available at: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas/vol7/iss1/15