When the American Archivist began publication in 1938, it stated that its primary function was “to serve as the medium through which the common interests and objectives of the profession can be expressed, reiterated, and clearly called to the attention of every group.” 1 It is somewhat surprising then that so few articles have been devoted to the reference process in archives. The term reference, in fact, is not found in the titles of any articles published in the first twelve volumes, which cover the years 1938 to 1950, and even then the article related to only one aspect of reference—“Some Reference Problems of Picture Collections.” 2 This is not to imply that reference service and reference problems were not alluded to in other articles but only that reference as a process in itself seemed less important than many other archival topics, such as preservation, “classification” of manuscripts, analysis of types of records, and education of archivists.