A neo-documentalist lens for exploring the premises of disciplinary knowledge making

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article applies a neo-documentalist approach to explore disciplinary information and knowledge making practices. The aim is to show how conceptions and materialities of what counts as documentation and documents are intertwined with changing and persisting disciplinary and sub-disciplinary practices of producing information and knowledge, of knowing, and informing. A collective, multivocal autoethnographic method is used to obtain vignettes from five areas of activity in or related to the discipline archaeology. The ongoing digitization of archaeology is used as a shared point of departure in the vignettes, explaining how digitization influences documentation and documents in each area of archaeological practice. The vignettes illustrate a multitude of conceptions and materialities of documentation, and reveal frictions in-between, both between and within sub-disciplinary areas. In the light of the exploration of information and knowledge making practices in archaeology, we posit that a neo-documentalist perspective functions as a useful analytical tool for deconstructing canonical and habitual conceptions of documentation in disciplines and practices. The approach is especially powerful in pinpointing and explicating frictions between conceptions of documentation as potential sources of problems in information sharing. Moreover, we discuss the potential of the neo-documentalist approach as a practical tool to plan for and implement change in documents and documentation practices.


  • Lisa Börjesson
  • Nicolo Dell'Unto
  • Isto Huvila
  • Carolina Larsson
  • Daniel Löwenborg
  • Bodil Petersson
  • Per Stenborg
External organisations
  • Uppsala University
  • Linnaeus University
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
  • Cultural Studies
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings from the annual meeting of the Document Academy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch