The Archivist (1998) and The Fictional World of Archives

Original Novel Title: The Archivist

Author: Martha Cooley

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 1998.

Could this be a trend, two first novels, nearly a decade apart, with the same title? The similarities end there, as this novel, unlike its 1989 predecessor, is a contemporary romance featuring a librarian whose institution preserves letters of poet T.S. Eliot. The poet's life intersects not only with the librarian/archivist of the title, but also that of a woman poet who fervently hopes to see the sealed letters.

Terry Abraham, special Collections, University of Idaho, commented to the ARCHIVES mailing list: "I do not think this will be the book that will expand and improve the public's image of archivists."

Paperback cover of The Archivist (1998)Read more about and purchase The Archivist (1998) via

Read a review, "Inventing the Eliots" by Miranda Schwartz, Hungry Mind Review

CONTENTS: The Fictional World of Archives

Submitted by David Mattison, 1998.10.25. Updated 1999.06.25.