n.AHR-kih-veeChiefly North Americanthe discipline of archivesArchivists Coin Word 1937A noun, archivy means “the field in which the archivist works.”Edgerly 1982, 267A review of the literature of North American “archivy” clearly demonstrates the early and continuing interest in, if not deep concern for, the archives of the business community.Dunae 1983, 288Nortonians, now allied with a new generation of public administrators and technocrats, have more than anyone else endeavoured to push archivy off its humanistic, historical, scholarly base. Their influence is particularly felt in government-sponsored archives, where archivist-historians are being transformed into “information managers.”Roberts 1987, 70From then on the matter becomes one of studying the records and studying history and has nothing to do with the study of archivy. Archivy is post-historiography.Gilliland-Swetland 1992, 95Archivy and the Computer: A Citation Analysis of North American Archival Periodical Literature [title].Peters 2006, 34This case study in digital archivy addresses some procedures for preservation of electronic literary archives at the Henry Ransom Center.Cook 2011b, 174The idea was that appraisal is the very heart of archivy, what gives it life, allows it to survive, from which all other functions follow, and that appraisal has been absent for too long from the archival corpus of ideas.
The word “archivy” is unique in that we know exactly when it was coined: on June 19, 1937, during the first meeting of the Society of American Archivists. An article in the Washington Star published the next day outlines the story: “‘This meeting,’ one of them said, ‘is the beginning of a new era in archivy.’ Immediately, all who heard the word pounced on it—and took it into the fold. In the excitement, no one could recall the name of the author.” The term “archivy” is not used commonly in the field, but (as even the newspaper article from 1937 noted) it allows the profession a distinct term to use instead of the polysemous “archives,” which archivists use for a set of records, a building, an organization, or the entire field itself.