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The Institutionalization of Archival Science in Brazil and the Administrative Reforms during Vargas’s First Government (1935-1945)

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posted on 08.08.2018, 02:47 by Paulo Roberto Elian dos Santos

ABSTRACT This paper adopts a historical perspective to analyze the activities of the Departamento Administrativo do Serviço Público (Civil Service Administration Bureau, DASP), created during the Brazilian Estado Novo (New State) regime in 1938. DASP was responsible for implementing an innovative project, separating administration and politics, during a period when power became concentrated on the Brazilian presidency. It argues that the bureau was a disseminator of actions that gave birth to the modern phase of archival knowledge, translated into the techniques, methods and practices applied by archival science, and designed to find its own place in the reformed public administration. It presents the institutionalizing phase of archival science within the context of the administrative reforms of the Getúlio Vargas government. This phase can only be understood by investigating its relations to the emerging fields of librarianship and documentation, both also part of DASP’s innovative project. The paper aims to identify the institutionality of archives and archival science achieved at the end of the period under study. This aim in mind, it uses the documents in DASP’s archives held at the National Archives in Rio de Janeiro as the main source of research.