This article broadens the definitions used in Richard Berner's Archival Theory and Practice in the United States: A Historical Analysis to distinguish between two competing perspectives within the archival professional community: one that views archivists as members of a larger community of historian-scholars with a responsibility to interpret the documents in their care; and one that defines archivists as information-management professionals with a responsibility to act as "gatekeepers" for the materials under their control. These differing views influenced the establishment and development of archival institutions early in the twentieth century and continue to shape more recent debates concerning the status of archivists as professionals.

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