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Short Paper Session

July 13, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm UTC+0

Short Paper Sessions consist of three papers:


The Impact of Donor-Archivist Relationships on the Foundation of the McGill Archives

The relationship between donors and archivists is inevitable when acquiring materials for archives. However, the literature on donors and relationships between archivists and donors is sparse and concentrated on donor motivations and types.  The research project I am completing for my Master of Information Studies at McGill University concentrates on those relationships. More specifically, the research focuses on the impact of donor-archivist relationships on the foundation of institutional archives. This will be accomplished through a content analysis of the early accessions files of McGill University Archives (1962-1968).  The first university archivist handled the archives between 1962 and 1968. From that time, over 1000 accession files are available. Through analyzing accession files and related correspondence descending from those years, this research looks at the types of relationships between donors and archivists and their impact on the foundation of institutional archives at the end of the twentieth century.

Although still in the early stages of my research, this presentation includes a short review of the literature on donors with key elements regarding the relationship between archivists and donors and its impact on acquisition and collections. The presentation also covers early findings from the accessions of the McGill University Archives. By highlighting these impacts, this project proposes ways to move forward and ensure greater transparency on the donor-archivist relationship and its impacts on acquisitions.

Presenter Bio

Sarah Hanahem, MISt student, McGill University

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MLIS Education on Trauma-Informed Archival: Preliminary Research Findings

Archives contain records of trauma, and can also generate trauma for those working with collections. Trauma-informed archival labor refers to instances when archivists experience symptoms of stress-related disorders including trauma while working with records that document traumatic events. This can also occur when archivists work with the survivors of traumatic events described in the records. Survivors may be donors, interlocutors, or users of the archives.

Practitioners report that Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) education programs do not prepare scholars for the trauma they may encounter in the archives, nor how to manage that exposure. Consequently, archivists enter the field unaware of the potential risks of trauma, how they might mitigate the risks, or how to recognize and manage trauma symptoms. Additionally, a review of the literature reveals a gap in information about trauma-informed archival labor and related MLIS curriculum.

The presenters will provide an overview of preliminary findings from a study conducted of faculty at ALA accredited USA-based MLIS programs. The research project explores the prevalence and nature of MLIS educational initiatives around the topic of trauma-informed archival labor, as well as the level of faculty awareness of the topic, and their attitudes towards including trauma-informed archival labor in future MLIS curricula.

This research was conducted by a graduate student at the University of Arizona School of Information as an independent study project under the guidance of faculty of the School of Information. The presentation will include an overview the research project including the background, preliminary outcomes, and recommendations to inform the field.

Presenter Bio

Berlin Loa, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona School of Information

Katherine Schlesinger, MLIS Graduate Student, University of Arizona School of Information

Accessibility details

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KBI – A Unified Theory of Visual Knowledge for Archives from Art Practice

In his seminal work, Ways of Seeing, John Berger states that “The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled.” For this reason, any theory of seeing must be open-ended and intellectually robust, supporting perhaps, the most qualitative of all paradigms: the individual. KBI is such a theory. KBI, which stands for know, believe, imagine, emerged from the art of colorizing black and white photos; art which has acquired hundreds of patrons and won numerous awards in juried competition. This art has been featured in trade magazines like Art Businesses News, in which I was named a Trendsetter and Emerging artist.

This paper will examine the ways in which KBI can be used as an information framework in which to situate archival narratives. KBI requires critical seeing, and is a rigorous construction for knowledge production from archival material, which often entails the creation of archival descriptions. These are important questions, and becoming more so in the age of “fake news” and “alternative facts.” KBI is a discursive system and framework which allows for an appropriate way to evaluate all information sources, whether visual or not, and if rigorously applied can be used to filter and appropriately situate data.

Presenter Bio

Melvin Hale, Ph.D, doctorate from UCLA, Information Studies in 2014


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This session will be recorded and made available on AERI YouTube.


July 13, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm UTC+0
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