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Archiverdict aims to become a standard, up-to-the-minute reference guide to research archives and their holdings. Typically, such information is exchanged via (often exclusive) word-of-mouth networks, or through fixed and less flexible media, such as printed works or mailing lists. Ideally, this wiki will help to democratize access to knowledge about archives, to sidestep restrictive measures of those who control certain archives, and to help researchers avoid duplicating discoveries.

Archiverdict includes information about documentary archives, research libraries, special collections departments, and any other places researchers visit to access unique or rare material. A typical article contains a variety of practical information about conducting research at a particular archive.

The community that can produce content for and edit this wiki is already in existence. Many thousands of historians and other researchers exchange information about archives on a regular basis.

Although anonymous editing is permitted, contributors are encouraged to log in with their real names, in order to facilitate communication among the community of scholars interested in each archive. Those who cannot use their real names--those, for instance, who risk losing access to archives by sharing information about them--may wish to use pseudonyms. Eventually, certain archives or countries could be designated anonymous-contribution-enabled zones.

The ultimate aim is to be multilingual (à la Wikipedia), in order to establish momentum the wiki should start with English entries. Eventually, it may make most sense for the page of reference for each archive be in the working language of that archive. Initially, these languages might include French, Italian, Spanish, German, Turkish, and Arabic.

The wiki might host discussions of research-related issues, such as database design, document photography, research networks, projects in progress at certain archives, projects published drawing on certain archives, and so on.

Persons wishing to take on particular aspects of the above (and any other areas relevant to the wiki) are welcome to discuss.

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