Choreographed encounter-The archive and public history

Michael Moss, Nicholas Barratt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


By Michael Moss with Introduction by Nick Barrett.

This is the most personal essay in this collection. Moss came from a family of schoolteachers and clerics. They escaped from a humble background as brush makers in Surrey to establish higher-status roles either in England or Australia. Moss uses his family’s history as an underlying narrative to enable him to meditate on the role of the individual in society and the tension between public and private history, between the views of the scholar, the archivist and the reality of life for the vast majority of people who lead ordinary lives and their descendants who painstakingly retrace their histories. It shows Moss at his most expansive and demonstrates all his virtues – always iconoclastic, always on the side of the ordinary person and hugely well read, quoting both Samuel Johnson and subaltern studies, and many in between, including Alex Haley, Karl Popper and RS Surtees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMichael Moss on Archives
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond the Four Corners of the Page
EditorsJulie Mcleod, Andrew Prescott, Susan Stuart, David Thomas
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781003407188
ISBN (Print)9781032525594
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2023

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