This article proposes an archival commons to support networked documentation efforts. It envisions a peer-based framework for the assembly, arrangement, and representation of related resources within the context and systems of archives, libraries, and cultural heritage organizations. The commons will expand involvement of users, leverage existing discovery tools, and reduce the cost of coordination associated with the documentation strategy. Using Giddens's theory of structuration and the roles of human agency and social structure, the authors propose basic functionalities to be provided by an archival commons. These functionalities would broaden the ability to form social memory in a commons-based environment supported by the economic idea of archival materials as nonrival goods.

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