Short Paper Sessions consist of three papers:
- Jeff Hirschy: Sites of Trauma and Remembrance: The Public History and Power of Hurricane Archives and Memorials in Mississippi
- Deborah Garwood: Archivists’ agency and archival self-image: Description as a meta-collaborative information practice
- Qiuhui Xiao, Yu Wang, and Bowen Zhang: Decryption Management of the Classified Archives in China: an exploratory study based on grounded theory
Sites of Trauma and Remembrance: The Public History and Power of Hurricane Archives and Memorials in Mississippi
We like stories. From the earliest days around a camp fire to a TikTok video on a phone today, humans have been drawn to stories. Sometimes they entertain us, sometimes they provide us with lessons, sometimes they help us explain the unexplained, and sometimes they help us process trauma and remember. All of these things are why we are pulled towards all types of stories. Especially in the aftermath of disaster, we need to remember and we need to process trauma. Stories of those who were lost, those who survived, and what was lost, are a central part of this. This happens in any disaster, but especially in larger disasters like hurricanes. On the American Gulf Coast, hundreds of hurricanes have struck the region. Each hurricane left behind stories. These stories are often placed in local archives and memorialized in local monuments and memorials. Once in these locations, the stories and their newfound homes because sites of trauma and remembrance generating new stories and new public history and memories. Looking at sites in Mississippi, specifically the University of Southern Mississippi and the Harrison County Public Library System, one can see the power and public history of these sites and how they serve as sites of trauma and remembrance.
Jeff Hirschy, University of Southern Mississippi
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This presentation will be recorded and made available on AERI YouTube.
Archivists’ agency and archival self-image: Description as a meta-collaborative information practice
This paper explores archivists’ agency and the formation of an archival self-image through reflection on the interpretive skill inherent in archival description. It is inspired by Richard Cox’s (1988) assertion that archivists’ scholarship on the archival profession’s history and archival administration advances the field. As a starting point, I evoke the concept that archivists’ descriptions of resources, composed in the course of processing, constitute original intellectual work that merits recognition. Tendencies to regard archival description as preparatory, invisible work relative to reference services and outreach undermine archivists’ agency. By contrast, documentation practices for oral histories involve the interviewer and interviewee in the co-creation of metadata for the interview recordings. This co-created metadata not only serves the user-oriented purpose of discovery and access; it documents the collaborative roles of interviewer and interviewee in the creation of an original work. The oral history format, in short, exemplifies the work of socially constructed, collaborative human information behavior in the creation and documentation of an information resource. By extension, any sponsors of the oral history, including the institution where it is preserved and information professionals who steward the resource, are meta-collaborators on the work. The oral history format suggests a model for theorizing description as a meta-collaborative information practice.
This paper reports on preliminary research using qualitative content analysis techniques and grounded theory to investigate the documentation of 274 oral histories held in the Center for Oral History at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. Research objectives include developing criteria for a purposive sample of 20th century women scientists’ oral histories and constructing a conceptual framework for theorizing archivists’ intellectual work on description as a meta-collaborative information practice. Anchoring this practice in archivists’ professional and personal agency highlights the formation of a socially constructed archival self-image in sync with contemporary audiences and social memory.
Deborah Garwood, Drexel University
This presentation will be recorded and made available on AERI YouTube for the duration of Virtual AERI 2022.
Decryption Management of the Classified Archives in China: an exploratory study based on grounded theory
Under the overall national security concept, the decryption management of classified archives in China is facing a complicated security situation and threats. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current status of archival decryption management in China. Challenges to archival decryption management are summarized and solutions are proposed to promote the decryption management of the classified archives.
Textual analysis and the grounded theory methodology was adopted. By means of legal text analysis, the whole current situation of archival decryption in China was grasped. For data collection, indepth interviews were conducted with archivists from 12 institutions in China. Data was collected from 12 representative institutions through oral interviews and telephone interviews. Data analysis was performed using the open coding, axial coding and selective coding to explore the constraints of archival decryption.
Main achievements of archival decryption are concluded in the principle of identification of the subject of archival decryption and the improvement of legal system. Problems are summarized as a lack of detailed regulatory and policy guidance, liaison with the classification and confidentiality department, awareness and capability of archival decryption. Solutions are proposed as follows: clarifying basic principles, establishing a tripartite cooperation and dynamic coordination mechanism between archives, security bureaus, and encryption agencies, improving the system of policies and regulations, building a decryption risk-taking mechanism, and adopting new technologies.
The study constructs a theoretical framework to identify the core factors affecting archival decryption. Corresponding solutions to the critical problems are raised to support policydeveloping in China and operational guidance for the practice of all kinds of institutions that implement archival decryption.
Qiuhui Xiao, School of Information Management Wuhan University
Yu Wang, School of Information Management Wuhan University
Bowen Zhang, School of Information Management Wuhan University
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Part of this session will be recorded and made available on AERI YouTube.