Below are the abstracts for each talk, workshop, and panel discussion for Virtual AERI 2021. For scheduling information, registration, and other logistical information, please see the events calendar here.
MONDAY, JULY 12
KEYNOTE: Dr Stanley Griffin
Stanley H. Griffin holds a BA (Hons.) in History, and a PhD in Cultural Studies (with High Commendation), from the Cave Hill Barbados Campus of Tathe University of the West Indies, and an MSc in Archives and Records Management (Int’l), University of Dundee, Scotland. Formerly the Archivist-in-Charge of the UWI Archives, he is Lecturer in Archival Studies and coordinates the Graduate Programme in Archives and Records Management in the Department of Library and Information Studies, UWI Mona Campus, Jamaica.
Stanley’s research interests include Multiculturalism in Antigua and the Eastern Caribbean, the Cultural Dynamics of intra-Caribbean migrations, Archives in the constructs of Caribbean culture, and community archives in the Caribbean. His most recent publications include Decolonizing the Caribbean Record: An Archives Reader (Litwin, 2018), a co-edited work with Jeannette Bastian and John Aarons, several book chapters including Archival Silences: Missing, Lost and Uncreated Archives (2021) and journal articles including the Journal of Popular Culture (2021), International Journal on Information, Diversity and Inclusion (2021), and the Journal of West Indian Literature (2021)
PANEL: Let’s Talk About Death (in the Archives)
Speakers: Itza Carbajal, University of Washington Information School; Maya Hirschman, University of Toronto Faculty of Information; Sam Winn, University of Arizona
Abstract: Unifying critical theory with compelling case studies and philosophies of practice, this panel will engage with literal, metaphorical, and affective presence(s) of death in the archives. Speakers will discuss the relationship between state archives and necropolitics, complexities of access and use in archives that document death, and epistemologies of death and dying in community collections.
PANEL: Emotional Dimensions of Research and Archival Work
Speakers: Jennifer Douglas, University of British Columbia; Alex Alisauskas, University of Calgary; Elizabeth Bassett, University of British Columbia; Ted Lee, University of British Columbia
Abstract: This panel presents findings on a series of 29 interviews conducted with working archivists on the emotional dimensions of archives and situates these in a broader discussion about the emotional dimensions of research inquiry. The interviews were carried out in the summer and fall of 2019 as part of a project, funded (2018-21) by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), on the relationship between grief and other emotions and archival work. Alongside these interviews, the project also included interviews with bereaved parents about their recordkeeping practices and archival research in bereavement collections, or collections that are created in large part in response to a grief experience. The panel will focus on key themes that arise in the interviews with archivists, but will also more broadly explore the complicated, relational ethics of research on intimate and personal topics. Focusing on ideas about vulnerability, intimacy, friendship and compassion in research and archiving, panelists will leave time to discuss research experiences with the audience.
PANEL: Know Before You Go: Lived experiences of working with archival donors
Speakers: Christian Dupont, Burns Librarian & Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, Boston College; Amber Moore, Archivist, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University; Sonia Pacheco, Archivist, Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Kenvi Phillips, Curator for Race and Ethnicity, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University
Abstract: Itza Carbajal recently argued that it is critical for the archival profession to recognize that there is “…an explicit bond between archivist and donor, one which is centered on mutual understanding and empathy”, what she calls an “ethics of care approach”. This approach refocuses the archival process from the ‘what’ we acquire, to ‘whom’ we work with, and this shift is important, as the field continues to move beyond its traditional practices, which have led to historic distrust of institutions. This distrust can be attributed to the reality that archives have largely been created by whites, to collect the history of whites. While speakers acknowledge that donor relationships can often be an ‘art’ rather than a formulaic science, the reality is that relatively few archival graduate programs in North America include concrete information on this aspect of archival work. While Carbajal’s work adds substantial content to this discussion, there is negligible literature on the skills archivists use to create and sustain donor relationships, yet this is work that is regularly done by practicing archivists. Therefore, one of the aims of this panel is to call more attention to the skills that are needed by archivists as they engage in donor relationships. The topics covered during this session, which will have brief presentations, a discussion amongst the presenters and plenty of time for Q&A, will include: strategies for building relationships and trust with donors, and how these relationships have provided comfort, clarification, and context between the archivist and the records creators; how do we balance archival timelines and needs with the expectations and needs of the donor; and examples where the archivist was explicitly excluded from conversations with donors, and where the donor was identified as being ‘politically’ important to the parent institution, and the difficulties these situations posed.
ROUNDTABLE: Secret Recordkeeping Agents: Supporting participatory and radical recordkeeping in statutory structures
Speakers: Joanne Evans, Monash University; Rebecka Sheffield; Michaela Hart
Abstract: Calling all archival and recordkeeping scholars investigating participatory recordkeeping problems and solutions in unexpected or unfamiliar places. Are you often the sole archival and recordkeeping voice at the table? Do you find yourself advocating for a range of stakeholder accountabilities, evidence and memory management needs to be factored into frameworks, processes and systems? Are you concerned with the impacts of digitization and datafication on government and community services? Do you believe that good recordkeeping must lie at the heart of citizen/person/human-centred services and that participatory archival minds must be part of their design?
Whether located in academia or practicing in the field, join us for a roundtable discussion and policy sprint aimed at developing a participatory recordkeeping research, education and advocacy agenda for public and community sector services.
- How do we bring critical and community archival mindsets to bear on the digital challenges of public and community sector recordkeeping?
- How do we address the imbalance of recordkeeping power between the citizen and the state?
- What role does recordkeeping need to play in protecting human rights, and upholding transparency and accountability as data-driven and algorithmic technologies transform public and community services?
- What are the recordkeeping frameworks and infrastructure to achieve that?
SHORT PAPERS: THEME – OCCUPATION AND EXTRACTION
Yarning about Indigenous Cultural Safety in Australian Libraries and Archives
Speakers: Kirsten Thorpe, Monash University (PhD, Faculty of IT) Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research, University of Technology Sydney
Abstract: This paper discusses the methods utilised in the doctoral research project which focuses on Indigenous Archiving and Cultural Safety in Australian libraries and archives.
Broadly, the doctoral research investigates the ways in which libraries and archives can negatively impact Indigenous peoples wellbeing through a failure of producing information and recordkeeping systems that can best meet their cultural and community needs. It explores the ways in which colonial legacies continue to be embedded within the structures of libraries and archives and how these legacies impact the cultural safety of Indigenous peoples in Australia. This includes examining the potential for information and records to cause harm to those people who work, access and use the records. Whether within physical spaces, systems, policies, or procedures that support library and archive structures.
This presentation will discuss the research design utilised in the doctoral studies to support respectful engagement with Indigenous research and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research topics. This includes utilising yarning (Bessarab, 2012) as a method, the use of autoethnography (Bainbridge, 2007) for deep reflection as well as drawing on Archibald’s (2008) Indigenous Storywork principles as method to present relational research.
Settler Colonialism and Archives in Rhodesia: A Case Study of the Delineation Reports
Speakers: Chido Muchemwa, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto (Ph.D. student)
Abstract: In 1980, Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain and inherited the National Archives of Zimbabwe. The colonial legacies within the Zimbabwean archives have primarily been studied through the postcolonial lens. However, in the paper, I make an argument for the utility of examining the archive through the settler colonial lens. Settler colonial studies as a field has primarily interested itself in the histories of North America and Australasia at the expense of the settler colonial projects of 20th century Africa. However, the failure of these settler projects does not minimize their lasting influence on the archives of postcolonial states like Kenya and Zimbabwe. I use delineation reports, chieftaincy records collected by colonial officials, as a case study for the enduring legacies of settler colonial archives. While delineation reports are often cited in scholarship, there have been few studies of them as an object. There is no published history of their creation, use or how they are treated in the archive. In this paper, I argue that it is important to contextualize the delineation reports as an administrative tool of the settler state to understand what the treatment of these records in the Rhodesian archives tells us about the archives role in supporting the settler state. This article uses delineation reports as a case study for how the Rhodesian settlers used the archives to solidify their story of the natives, a story that would justify taking the land.
Aboriginal Archives in Italy – a space for reciprocal collaboration
Speaker: Monica Galassi – PhD Candidate in International Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS)/Research Associate at the Indigenous Archives and Data Stewardship Hub at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at UTS.
Abstract: Displaced archives related to Aboriginal histories and experiences are widely disseminated across Europe, often unknown to communities and researchers alike. These archives are entangled in multiple layers of power and interests, therefore there is no agreed framework to manage their access and return to their communities of origin.
But what happens when understudied Aboriginal displaced archives in Italy are redirected to their communities of origin?
This paper introduces doctoral research about Aboriginal records displaced in Italian institutions. Through mapping and translating a sample of these records and facilitate access to their communities of origin, I reflect on the opportunities that this space provides. This analysis draws deeply from Indigenous Decolonising methodologies and approaches, as well as my own standpoint of being an Italian woman living and working with Aboriginal Peoples and Communities.
I argue that opening spaces for dialogue between institutions and communities provides invaluable opportunities to support Aboriginal data sovereignty, increase knowledge of colonial history and contribute to the international theoretical debate around displaced archives.
SHORT PAPERS: THEME – DIGITAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Linked Open Data – a means of future-proofing the archives sector?
Speaker: Ashleigh Hawkins, University of Liverpool
Abstract: Since 2010, the archives sector has been engaged in incorporating Linked Data, and subsequently Linked Open Data (LD), into description and other archival processes. Evidence of the benefits of LD for archives was provided by early projects, including the LOCAH and Linking Lives projects undertaken by the UK’s Archives Hub, a trio of projects at King’s College London, and the Australian Architectural Practice in Post-war Queensland project. The evidence base has subsequently been expanded by more recent projects, such as the ongoing Linked Jazz project at the Pratt Institute School of Library Information Science, and the Finnish BiographySampo and WarSampo projects. Over the past few years, investment in LD has also been seen both at the national and international level with many cross-sectoral collaborations, including the Towards a National Collections Project, publication of the Europeana Linked Open Data service, OCLC’s Project Passage, and the ICA’s development of the Records in Contexts Ontology.
While there has been some scholarly examination (Gracy, 2015; Niu, 2016), individual case studies dominate the discussion, sharing tried and tested processes and methods essential to help implementers plan future projects and inform the development of best practices and guidelines. However, in focusing on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of LD, few have interrogated why archives should invest, and what the benefits might be. Drawing on PhD research examining current perceptions of the benefits of LD for archives, this work in progress paper considers the extent to which LD may offer a means of future-proofing the archives sector. In questioning the extent to which it improves archival processes, the potential it offers for expanding the profile of the GLAM sector, and examining evidence of increased sustainability of archival metadata, I will present one of the key arguments for archival investment in LD.
Analysis on the Content and Characteristics of Information Dissemination of China Archives WeChat Official Account
Speakers: Jiaqi Feng, Renmin University of China; Xiaoshuang Jia, Renmin University of China
Abstract: The WeChat official accounts are application accounts that a developer or merchant applies for on the WeChat official platform. Through the official accounts, relevant subjects can realize all-round communication and interaction with specific groups, including text, pictures, voice, and video. Since its launch in 2012, the WeChat official account has gradually become an important platform for various organizations to display themselves, enhance their influence, and facilitate users with its unique advantages. The archives are also actively relying on WeChat official accounts to carry out publicity services. As of January 11, 2021, there are a total of 487 archive WeChat official accounts in effective operation in China, which act as propagandists of archives knowledge, broadcasters of archives work and communicators with profile users. Under the above background, the authors adopt the content analysis method and select the top ten WeChat official accounts ranking in the 2020 China’s Archive WeChat Official Account List as the statistical samples, after basic analysis, we further extract the information content released by the sample, then perform content coding and visual analysis according to the six indicators of title, keywords, number of views, number of views, release form, and language style. Finally, we summarize the content and form, characteristics and highlights of Chinese archive information dissemination. We hope that this research can provide some suggestions for the optimization and improvement of China’s archives WeChat official accounts.
Research on the Problems Existing in the Transfer of College Student Archives in China
Speakers: Wang Zican, School of Information Resources Management, Renmin University of China
Abstract: Personnel archive is an important feature of China’s personnel management system. It is the evidence of personal identity, educational background and qualifications. Generally speaking, student archives are an important part of personnel archives. According to the principle of ” personnel archives transfer with people “, the archives of college graduates should be transferred from the school to their work units. At this time, student archives will officially become personnel archives, which are closely related to personal wages, social labor security and membership credentials. Therefore, it is particularly important to realize the smooth transition from student archives to personnel archives, which is the purpose of transferring student archives. The smooth transmission of student archives is not only related to the change of their study and work identity, but also related to the integrity and continuity of their personnel archives. However, there are many chaotic phenomena such as abandonment, loss and damage of student archives in reality, which leads to the continuous fracture of their personnel archives, which not only affects the integrity of their personnel archives, but also has a negative impact on their future work and life. This paper attempts to explore the reasons behind the chaos, and puts forward the corresponding solutions. Specifically, this paper will conduct a questionnaire survey and interviews with the groups who have handled the business of student archive transfer. The survey found that the confounding of transfer methods, the opacity of transfer process and the lack of understanding of the importance of archives transmission are the three major reasons that affect the quality of transfer of student archives. Based on this, this paper believes that standardizing the transfer methods and implementation rules, promoting the transparency of the transfer process and enhancing the propaganda of the importance of archives transmission are the solutions to related problems.
ROUNDTABLE: Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Archives and Digital Curation
Panelists: Sumayya Ahmed, Simmons University; Patricia Garcia, University of Michigan; Angela P. Murillo, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Moderator: Ricardo L. Punzalan, University of Michigan
Abstract: Recent events such as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minoritized communities, ongoing police brutality and anti-Black violence, and the increasing number of Asian hate crimes have produced calls for action across communities. Although they are recent, these events represent historical patterns of racial violence and systemic racism within the U.S. that require an honest reckoning with our past and present, including the legacies we continue to uphold in our academic institutions. If we, as archival educators and researchers, are to contribute to a more just future, we must examine the University’s complicity in upholding structural racism and the role of educators in achieving racial justice by developing an anti-racist pedagogy. In this roundtable discussion, speakers and participants will answer the question: What constitutes anti-racist pedagogy(ies) in archives and digital curation? The speakers will answer this question and share their own approaches and practice. This session aims to unpack what anti-racist pedagogy in archives and digital curation actually means not only in terms of what we teach, but also how we teach. It will also address the challenges (untenured) faculty of color face when trying implement anti-racist pedagogies including reprisals or being ignored. This roundtable discussion will have an interactive approach and will invite participants to join in the conversation. We view the roundtable as an opportunity to continue to conversations that began during the July 2020 Community Forum and hope to further flesh out ideas that were surfaced through the conversation into an actionable vision of how anti-racist pedagogies could and should shape how we teach archives and digital curation at our institutions.
WORKSHOP: Teaching Towards Rights in Records
Speakers: Kathy Carbone, UCLA; James Lowry, CUNY
Abstract: The Rights in Records Framework asserts individual and community rights to, in and through records. Derived from the work of the Refugee Rights in Records (R3) Initiative at UCLA and CUNY, and close collaboration and conversation with international organizations and initiatives such as the Rights in Records by Design project at Monash University, the framework is a charter that sets out twenty rights based in broader human rights frameworks. In this workshop, participants will be invited to explore what it would mean to prepare archivists and various stakeholders for records work that asserts and defends these rights. What are the pedagogical methods, content and audiences that should be engaged to affect the design and operation of record-keeping environments that serve those marginalized in current systems?
PANEL: Archival Voices from the Caribbean
- Stanley H. Griffin: co-convenor, University of the West Indies (Jamaica)
- Jeannette A. Bastian: co-convenor, Simmons University/UWI (Jamaica)
- Sparkle N. Ferreira – University of the West Indies (Trinidad)
- Sandra O. Stubbs – University of the West Indies (Jamaica)
- Janelle A. Duke – University of the West Indies (Trinidad)
- Norman Malcolm- University of the West Indies (Jamaica)
Abstract: The four panelists, all students in the recently initiated MPhil/Ph.D. program in the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica), will give works-in-progress presentations from their ongoing dissertations. Their topics, centered around a variety of Caribbean expressions of memory, space and identity, include: “The role of records and the formation of a national identity in Trinidad”; “Twitter as documenter of Jamaican memory and social resistance”; “Caribbean library and archival spaces in the 21st. century”; and “Documenting the shared heritage and memory of the colonial sugar industry in Trinidad”.
KEYNOTE: Dr. Jennifer Wemigwans
Moderator: Dr Jessica Lapp
Jennifer Wemigwans, PhD is from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She is a new media producer, writer and scholar specializing in the convergence between education, Indigenous knowledge and new media technologies. Her research examines how Indigenous knowledge online contributes to the efforts and goals of Indigenous nation building and therefore represents a new cultural form and social movement that delivers capacity for Indigenous communities. Dr. Wemigwans takes pride in working to invert the conventional use of media by revealing the potential for Indigenous cultural expression and Indigenous knowledge through new technologies, education and the arts.
Archival Liberation Vision Board Showcase
Organizer: Queens College CUNY Chapter of the the Society of American Archivists
Speakers: Various student poster talks
Abstract: What does archival liberation look like to you? What is your vision for the future of archives? How can archives be spaces for liberation? The SAA Student Chapter of Queens College CUNY and the Archival Technologies Lab are organizing a session dedicated to archival liberation at the Archival Education and Research Institute. All MLS and PhD students with an interest in archival studies are encouraged to participate by creating a vision board that depicts how you understand archival liberation as a fundamental aspiration of archives or archivists. This vision board can explain, champion, or critique how archives serve liberatory struggles, the responsibilities of archivists as activists, or any other area that touches on the liberatory potential of archives.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14
KEYNOTE: Prof. Sue McKemmish
Moderator: Dr Joanne Evans
I have been immersed in recordkeeping and archives for over four decades, first as an archivist working for the National Archives of Australia and the Public Record Office of Victoria. Joining Monash in 1990, my research focused on Records Continuum theory and conceptual modelling, recordkeeping metadata, and smart information consumer portals. My theory-building and modelling work on the Records Continuum has continued throughout my career. In more recent times, as my Continuum thinking and modelling have continued to evolve, I have focused on community-centred, participatory recordkeeping and archiving, and rights in records in the context of social justice and human rights agendas, complemented by ethics of care, particularly in response to advocacy by those with lived experience of Out-of-Home Care, and First Nations peoples in Australia. Developing inclusive, reflexive research design and practice in partnership with communities has been a guiding principle.
SHORT PAPERS: THEME – ARCHIVAL HISTORY
Exploring the value and meaning of professional work: a recent history of religious archivists in Ireland
Speakers: Dr Elizabeth Mullins, University College Dublin
Abstract: This paper describes current work which focuses on the recent history of archivists in religious organizations in Ireland. The repositories of many of these organizations have been the focus of much public attention in the context of processing the history of institutional care in Ireland in the 20th century. Religious archives have also been the subject of scholarly comment that has highlighted the immense value of their records to the broader history of Ireland. In the midst of this kind of commentary, the voice of the archivist has been relatively quiet. Recent research that has been carried out by archivists has focused on describing the content of holdings, the history of institutions and the pastoral function of archives but has not generally connected to archival theoretical literature. This project begins to address this neglect. The research seeks through means of a literature review and resulting survey to describe the experience of being an archivist in a religious organization in contemporary Ireland, focusing on areas such as appraisal, access, organizational context, and emotional labor. The research will also explore if it is possible to link the idea of writing a history of the profession with a discussion of the values and meaning which sustain archivists, particularly when working in contested spaces. In this sense while focusing on a specific group of professionals the research seeks to contribute to contemporary discussion around the role of affect and the extent to which meaning matters in archival work. This paper will introduce the contemporary context, research design and status of this on-going project.
The Historical Context and Stage Characteristics of Archives Administrative Supervision in China
Speakers: Yao Jing, Jia Xiaoshuang, Xu Yongjun; School of information resource management, Renmin University of China
Abstract: “Archives administrative supervision” is a system of supervision and inspection of archives work with Chinese characteristics. It emphasizes that the department in charge of archives should supervise and inspect archives work in the administrative areas based on the administrative authority according to law. The purpose is to strengthen archives management and standardize archives work; The subject is the Archives Bureau at all levels; The objects cover the archives work from central to local; The content includes the implementation of policies and the punishment of illegal archives activities; The methods include on-site archives supervision and inspection, etc. Based on the perspective of historicism, this paper uses policy analysis method to analyze the relevant archives laws and regulations. Taking the promulgation time of the Archives Law in 1987, 1996, 2016 and 2020 as the dividing node, the development history of Chinese archives administrative supervision is divided into four stages: brewing stage (1949-1987), germination stage (1987-1996), development stage (1996-2020) and strengthening stage (since 2020). In the brewing stage, there was lack of legal basis, weak supervision consciousness and unclear supervision subject; In the germination stage, the overall supervision framework had taken shape from no law to having law, from scattered regulations to special regulations; In the development stage, the legal work had achieved fruitful results, and the subject, object and content had been further clarified; In the strengthening stage, the new revision of the Archives Law in 2020 has achieved a “qualitative leap” and put forward new requirements for the reform. By combing the historical context and summarizing the characteristics of four stages, this paper summarizes the following its five historical evolution characteristics: First, supervision laws are increasingly perfect. Second, supervision subjects emphasize coordination. Third, supervision objects change with the times. Fourth, supervision content is constantly enriched. Fifth, supervision means are gradually diversified.
WORKSHOP: Teaching About/In Community Archives: Workshopping Strategies for Teaching Equivocal Archival Practices
Speakers: Jane Thaler, University of Pittsburgh; Chelsea Gunn, University of Pittsburgh
Abstract: As instructors in MLIS programs, we have found that many students begin their studies with a desire for firm guidelines and best practices. At the same time, we have observed steadily growing student interest in community and personal archives, areas which sometimes ask us to productively break the rules of “traditional” archival practice. This liminality can be uncomfortable for students as they attempt to reconcile the perceived tensions between community/personal and professional archival practices.
These tensions also reveal themselves when we teach archival practice in community settings. Professional archivists and community archives increasingly work in dialogue with one another. Our reflections on the shifting modalities between archival instruction within and beyond the MLIS classroom have prompted us to critically reexamine how we understand and teach archival theory and practice in both environments.
This workshop invites participants to share and reflect on their experiences both teaching personal/community archives to MLIS students and working with/teaching community. How do these pedagogical practices inform each other? What strategies do we use to address these divergences? How does our work with community archives inform that work? Participants of this workshop will collaboratively produce a shared document of practices, resources, challenges, and goals that have informed their approach to teaching community/personal archives. The collaborative document will remain accessible as a shared, ongoing resource after the workshop has ended.
WORKSHOP: Advancing an Agenda for Online Archival Pedagogy
- Heather Soyka, Assistant Professor, School of Information (iSchool), Kent State University
- Karen F. Gracy, Professor, School of Information (iSchool), Kent State University
- Edward Benoit, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Library & Information Science, Louisiana State University
- Sarah A. Buchanan, Assistant Professor, School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (iSchool), University of Missouri
- Donald C. Force, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies
Abstract: Situated within the shifting landscape of graduate education, the development and delivery of online education has continued to change, grow, and perhaps started to stabilize. Graduate programs that provide online archival education in various forms (including asynchronous, hybrid, synchronous, and more) share the common goal of educating and shaping new archival professionals and archival scholarship with location-based offline programs. Yet graduate educators teaching online have unique needs and challenges that merit the development of pedagogical plans and inclusive conversations about meeting the needs of archival students that are not geographically and synchronously congregated in a physical classroom. Further, online programs often require consideration of different methods and models for scaffolding, setting up necessary conversations, and building networks that will serve students as they move into the profession.
This proposal for a workshop on online archival pedagogy, to be held during AERI 2021, sets out two goals: 1) to convene archival educators interested in advancing scholarship related to online archival pedagogy and its challenges/opportunity; 2) to identify and set out an agenda for archival education that identifies areas of need and is inclusive, responsive, and reflective of the gaps in discussing how to address the needs of the online classroom for the future of the archival profession.
- Introductions and sharing of online teaching experiences/interests (15 minutes)
- Discussion of audiences for online education (similarities and differences to in-person audiences; particular needs of online students; assessment of online student learning and engagement) (15 minutes)
- Identification and exploration of opportunities and challenges specific to archival studies online programs (30 minutes)
- Initial sketch of research agenda for online archival pedagogy (30 minutes)
WORKSHOP: Editorial Work
Speaker: James Lowry, Queens College, City University of New York
Abstract: This workshop is aimed at practitioners, PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors with some publication record. This workshop will look at conceptualizing editorial projects, choosing formats (edited books, special issues, proceedings, etc.), identifying contributors, identifying appropriate publishers and navigating the academic publishing racket, the publication process (including managing peer review, copy editing, proof reading, and indexing), supporting promotion and soliciting reviews. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to discuss an idea for an editorial project: we will work in small groups to develop and plan these projects. The workshop will be limited to 20 participants.
PANEL: Caring for Collections: Accessioning and Effective Archival Stewardship
Speakers: Rosemary K. J. Davis, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University; Meaghan O’Riordan, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library, Emory University
Abstract: Archival accessioning is often defined as taking physical, legal, and intellectual custody of newly acquired collection material. But this simplistic definition does not reflect the human experiences of physical, intellectual, and emotional labor–which can include juggling logistics, managing donor relations, and providing quick access through arrangement and description–performed during accessioning.
In 2019, Rosemary K. J. Davis, Accessioning Archivist for the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, and Meaghan O’Riordan, Accessioning Archivist for the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library at Emory University, embarked upon a research project to examine archival accessioning labor throughout the United States. This research focuses on a deep examination of current accessioning labor with an accompanying analysis about ways to make this work more visible and effective.
Their talk will provide an overview of their research to date, which includes a labor survey and multiple site visits. In particular, Davis and O’Riordan will delve into a collaborative element of their project: the recently launched Best Practices for Archival Accessioning Working Group. Currently, every organization develops their own unique accessioning workflows because–while arrangement and description, public services, and instruction protocols are developed using existing recognized best practices–there are no established standards for establishing and managing a comprehensive accessioning program. This working group aims to develop a suite of adaptable, holistic workflows that can be used to implement and strengthen accessioning practices throughout the field.
Developing a better understanding of how repositories define and navigate accessioning is crucial illuminating the and bringing visibility to the labor involved to performing special collections stewardship rooted in transparency and mutual trust between all parties. Through this forum and their research, Davis and O’Riordan hope to kickstart thoughtful conversations within the profession about how to empathetically and efficiently care for collections through well-defined accessioning best practices.
PANEL: Trauma and Archives: Supporting and Educating Archives
- Nicola Laurent, University of Melbourne
- Kirsten Wright, University of Melbourne
- Jennifer Douglas, University of British Columbia
- Kirsten Thorpe, University of Technology Sydney
- Verne Harris, Nelson Mandela Foundation
- Michaela Hart, Victorian Department of Health
- Anna Sexton, University College London
- Itza Carbajal, The University of Washington Seattle
- Emily Larson and Noah Duranseaud, Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, University of British Columbia
- Isaac Fellman, GLBT Historical Society, San Francisco
- Daisy Murray-Smith, Practitioner
- Gary Brannan, Practitioner
- Some speakers still TBC.
Abstract: This webinar will capture the broad range of activities occurring across the archival profession to educate, train and provide support for archivists responding to the affective, and sometimes traumatic nature of archives, and to ensure archives are safe and empowering places for them, their colleagues, and their users.
It will bring together archival professionals and educators to discuss the types of education around issues of trauma-informed archival practice and archival action, activism and education more broadly. Contributors will highlight the multiple avenues for people to undertake education relevant to their work– formal education, continuing education and professional development and training, and informal opportunities. They will consider how students and professionals can be supported when dealing with difficult or traumatic material, content or situations. They will discuss how this support is being built into education programs and professional practice including through the trauma-informed archives community of practice, and the impact this has on pedagogy.
This webinar will feature short videos from archival professionals and educators working to create trauma-informed content to support collaboration across all facets of archival education and the profession. It will emphasise the benefits in providing training, support and resources around trauma-informed archives. It will conclude with a live Q&A with Nicola Laurent and Kirsten Wright, the organisers of this session.
Identifying and enacting generous scholarly practice–the 2021 edition
Panel facilitators: Marika Cifor; Jennifer Douglas; Jamie A. Lee
Description: At last year’s AERI, Marika Cifor, Jennifer Douglas, Jamie A. Lee and Tonia Sutherland facilitated a conversation on generosity in archival research, scholarship and praxis. This year, Marika, Jennifer andJamie will again make space for a community conversation about generosity, why we need it, what it looks across pedagogical and professional archival contexts,and how we—individually and collectively—enact it. Acknowledging the various and unequal pressures, losses, worries and fears members of the AERI community have experienced over this past year, we aim mostly to hold space for discussion.We ask upfront:Hhow has generosity been demonstrated–or not–in the AERI and broader archives community this year? What kinds of generous acts and behaviours are particularly needed rightnow and how do we enact them? What pressures constrain generosity and how do we resist them? Faced with these pressures, how can we continue to identify, embody and model generous scholarship and scholarly practices at every career level?While some of us use individual strategies, including for example feminist citation strategies and ethicsof care, this panel seeks to engage the wider AERI community in discussion about how to evolve as agenerous research community. In this panel, we will continue our discussion from last year to explore together how we can follow through on our shared commitment to working within the academy’s ethically compromised spaces in ways that do not just imbricate ourselves into the hierarchies of power,but work to subvert, undermine, open doors,and make different ways of working and doing possible.
THURSDAY, JULY 15
PANEL: The innovation and reform of archival education against the backdrop of “the new liberal arts” in China
- Zhiying Lian, School of Information Resource Management, Renmin University, China
- Wenhong Zhou, School of Public Administration, Sichuan University, China
- Yue Ren, School of Information Management, Heilongjiang University, China
- Yu Cao, Management School of Tianjin Normal University, China
- Xiangnv Wang, Department of Library, Information and Archival Studies, Shanghai University China
- Lanlan Zhu, School of Information Management, Zhengzhou University of Aeronautics, China
Abstract: The grand plan of “the new liberal arts” was proposed by the Ministry of Education of China in 2018, aiming to integrate sci-tech revolution with humanities and social sciences education and to reform traditional humanities and social sciences. Against the backdrop of “the new liberal arts”, many Chinese universities have taken measures to reform their archival education. In this panel, the faculty from six universities in China will share the measures they have taken to reform archival education.
Renmin University mainly focuses on the curricula reform. The issues including why initiated the curricula reform, what are the characteristics of the new curricula system and what challenges for archival education the reform has brought about will be discussed.
Sichuan University has launched a teaching reform project called Future Archives lab. The issues including how the new liberal arts is understood in the teaching practice of archival science in Sichuan University; what innovative teaching activities are designed; what are the results of the teaching reform, and what implications could be for archival education will be talked.
Heilongjiang University will share their experience in mentoring student innovation projects and thus cultivating students’ innovation abilities.
Tianjin Normal University will demonstrate the reform of “archives compilation course”. This course reform takes the cultivation of practical abilities as its goal and storytelling as its education point. They have reformed the course from three levels: concept, contents and methods.
Shanghai University will show how they use the project “Memory of Shanghai University” (“Shangda Memory “for short) to conduct archival practice teaching.
Zhengzhou University of Aeronautics will explain their virtual simulation experiment of archive exhibition which reproduces the interactive and gamified archive display scene, constructs archive exhibition resources with ideological and political connotation, restores the whole process of archive exhibition and its teaching requirements.
KEYNOTE: Syma Tariq
Syma Tariq is a PhD student, writer and radio producer. Her doctoral research – Partition as a sonic condition: listening through the postcolonised archive – is being undertaken at the Centre for Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP), University of the Arts London. It focuses on the discursive and temporal separations embedded in histories of the 1947 partition of ‘British India’ through sonic-archival forms and processes. The impact of colonial division on historical destruction and on listening is a key concern for her practice. Syma holds a Masters in History of Political Thought from the University of Sussex and a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Contemporary History from Queen Mary University of London. She is a recipient of an AHRC TECHNE award.
PANEL: The Digital Records Curation Programme
- Juliet A. Erima – Moi University, Kenya
- Tshepho L. Mosweu – University of Botswana
- Thatayaone Segaetsho – University of Botswana
- Forget Chaterera-Zambuko – National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe
- Vusi Tsabedze – University of South Africa
- Makutla Mojapelo – University of South Africa
Abstract: The importance and need for digital curation has increased significantly in recent years owing to the myriad of risks facing digital assets, which include problems of hardware and software obsolescence, media fragility, rapid technological developments, and lack of sufficient metadata. Additionally, digital records face risks of improper handling, corruption and alteration, unauthorized access, accidental erasure, among other problems. These issues necessitate continuous discussions amongst information professionals including records managers and archivists on how best they can be circumvented in the face of changing technologies. Hence, digital curation has gained world-wide acceptance and recognition today as a sound strategy for ensuring continued accessibility of digital assets. I therefore propose a panel for the discussion of issues surrounding digital curation, which will include sharing of case studies from different countries and organizations around the globe. The proposed panel discussion will provide a forum for digital curation experts, researchers and information practitioners to share knowledge and shape the digital curation agenda for the future, including review of the current digital records curation curriculum.
WORKSHOP: How to Integrate Computational Thinking into Archival Studies Curricula
- Richard Marciano, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
- Sarah Buchanan, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri
- Karen F. Gracy, School of Information, Kent State University
- Joshua Kitchens, Archival Studies Program, Clayton State University
Abstract: The CT-LASER+ Project, with educational leaders from the U. Maryland, U. Missouri, Kent State U., and Clayton State U., aims to develop an online national collaborative network for integrating computational thinking (CT) into library and archival education and practice. This IMLS-funded project brings together educators, practitioners, and researchers to design pedagogical tools and resources that archival educators can use to introduce graduate students to computational science principles and practices. The CT approach encourages archivists to break down large-scale digital records challenges into manageable components and create solutions that combine archival data and code to create accessible archival records.
Educators involved with the project will present their experiences designing courses, learning objectives, and activities to incorporate computational science principles and practices into graduate archival studies courses including introductory/foundational courses, archival description, digital preservation/curation, and digital humanities. In addition to sharing their stories, the educators will engage with participants to help them brainstorm ways that computational thinking can be adopted by other educators. The workshop also aims to generate a list of requirements and needed resources to successfully integrate computational thinking into the mainstream of archival pedagogy at the course level and the program level.
PANEL: Una mirada a la archivística desde Iberoamérica
Ponentes: Fátima Rodríguez Coya; Carolina Santelices-Werchez; María Cristina Betancur; Oscar Zamora Flores
Resumen: El panel “Una mirada a la archivística desde Iberoamérica” busca presentar una muestra del trabajo archivístico que se hace en habla hispana. Para esto se exponen dos trabajos que abordan de forma general las tradiciones archivísticas en América Latina y la investigación en el área en Iberoamérica con el fin de plantear a los asistentes un panorama general. A su vez se presentan dos estudios de caso relacionados con la gestión documental y los archivos orales y comunitarios. Esta muestra incluye trabajos realizados desde cuatro latitudes diferentes: España, Chile, Colombia y Nueva York que ratifican el compromiso con el desarrollo archivístico disciplinar y aplicado.
Resúmenes de las cuatro comunicaciones:
Tradiciones archivísticas en América Latina. María Cristina Betancur.
América Latina ha recibido influencias de diferentes tradiciones archivísticas a lo largo de su historia. Estas influencias han moldeado la concepción de los archivos en la actualidad y han orientado las prácticas archivísticas que se llevan a cabo en esta región. Entre estas tradiciones se puede enumerar, la tradición archivística española durante el período colonial hispano; las tradiciones europeas que relacionan los archivos con el altar de la nación en el siglo XIX; el Records Management norteamericano a mediados del siglo XX y recientemente la tradición de continuidad australiana, entre otras. Se presenta un breve recorrido por el desarrollo de la tradición archivística latinoamericana y algunos ejemplos por países.
Caracterización de la investigación archivística en Iberoamérica: Desafíos y proyecciones. Alejandra Santelices
Se presenta un panorama de la investigación archivística iberoamericana, centrado en el análisis de la producción científica registrada en las bases de datos Web of Science Core Collection y Scopus en el período 2001-2020. A partir de una investigación con diseño no experimental, descriptivo longitudinal, que utiliza metodología mixta, se indaga en las tendencias de investigación, utilizando técnicas descriptivas y bibliométricas para dimensionar los procesos de producción de conocimiento en archivística. Adicionalmente, desde la tradición cualitativa, se busca conocer las principales líneas de investigación que se han desarrollado en la disciplina, a partir del análisis de contenido cualitativo de los estudios publicados en ambas bases de datos. Los principales resultados apuntan a establecer la geografía de publicación de la producción científica iberoamericana, los hábitos de publicación de la comunidad de investigadores, las tendencias en materia de comunicación científica, la forma en que se llevan a cabo los procesos de colaboración científica, el peso de la investigación iberoamericana en el contexto global y los principales objetos de estudio abordados. De esta forma, se pretende dimensionar cuáles son los desafíos que se presentan en materia de investigación científica en archivística y proyectar las posibilidades de colaboración científica en el contexto iberoamericano.
Gestión de documentos orientada a la continuidad sostenible del negocio. Fátima Rodríguez
Bajo la hipótesis de que la gestión de documentos es estratégica para la continuidad del negocio y la sostenibilidad de las organizaciones en entornos digitales y cambiantes, se profundizará en el estudio interdisciplinar de la dirección estratégica de las organizaciones y la dirección de proyectos, para plantear propuestas técnicas en las que el diseño y la gestión de los documentos se orienten a la consecución eficiente de los objetivos organizacionales, desde la perspectiva de la continuidad del negocio y su sostenibilidad. Se espera poder consolidar los datos de esta investigación en una metodología, un modelo de información o un conjunto de directrices para la gestión de documentos de las organizaciones orientada a la continuidad sostenible del negocio.
Ayuda Mutua Queer en el marco de COVID. Oscar Zamora Flores.
Durante la pandemia, las redes queer en Nueva York se han movilizado para apoyar a sus comunidades. En el distrito de Queens, organizaciones como Love Wins Food Pantry y Free Clothing Queens han operado en bares gay locales, han sido organizadas por drag queens y han cooperado para compartir recursos en las comunidades LGBTQ y más allá. Esta presentación detalla el proyecto Documentando Ayuda Mutua Queer, que colecciona historia oral de organizadores locales y agregandolos a la colección de Queens Memory. La presentación luego expondrá los hallazgos preliminares de la investigación y considerará los próximos pasos para el proyecto.
SHORT PAPERS: THEME – POLICING AND PROTEST
Don’t Use My Assault to Protect Racist Police Practice: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Ideological Connections Between Record-Keeping Practices in Gang Databases and Sexual Assault Reports
Speakers: Sydney Triola
Abstract: In this paper, I will utilize the information life cycle from information studies to juxtapose law enforcement’s sexual assault record-keeping practices with law enforcement gang database record-keeping practices, in order to reveal the epistemological values embedded in police record-keeping practices. I find that sexual assault record-keeping practices highlight systematic patterns of police under-reporting these crimes, especially when the victim is from a marginalized community. Contrarily, I find that gang database record-keeping practices encourage over-reporting individuals who are often only included in these criminal databases as a result of racial profiling in low-income communities, and do not exhibit any evidence of posing a dangerous threat to the public. This juxtaposition reveals the true epistemological values of record-keeping in law enforcement: the reinforcement of the Black Brute Caricature, which poses Black men as an inherent threat to White women’s safety. This paper ends with a set of theoretical assumptions that researchers working with these populations can utilize to avoid perpetuating this adversarial mythology of the Black Brute Caricature.
What Matters to Archives? Preliminary survey results of archivists and archival scholars on institutional responses to 2020 BLM calls for social justice
- Sumayya Ahmed, Simmons University
- Rachael Clemens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Angela Murillo, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
Abstract: In April 2021, during the waning days of the trial of the police officer who murdered George Floyd, we surveyed professionals in the fields of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (LAMs) in order to capture their voices and document reactions to the events that had been put into motion since Floyd’s death. We asked survey participants to reflect upon and consider observed occurrences or incidences in their workplace and profession that they believed were galvanized by what we termed the catalytic incidents of 2020 (e.g., the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd) and subsequent calls for social justice by those protesting under the Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner. We asked if these events motivated changes in their workplace and/or professional organization, what changes occurred, and who initiated those changes (i.e., organization, upper management, etc.).
The online survey was distributed across multiple LAMs-related listservs, and we received a high number of responses from archivists and archival scholars (47 percent of respondents who provided their professional affiliation). This may reflect the proactive engagement of the archives field with social justice issues predating the events of 2020 (for example: Harris,2007; Jimerson, 2007; Gilliland, 2011; Duff et al., 2013; Ramirez, 2015; Punzalan and Caswell, 2016; Sutherland, 2017; Wallace, 2017; Hughes-Watkins, 2018; Drake, 2019).
This paper presents preliminary findings of a subset of data collected with particular attention to the open-ended and qualitative responses. It offers us an opportunity to look at the reflections and experiences of archivists and archival scholars surrounding the 2020 BLM protests and ongoing calls for social justice. These responses document narratives of engagement and crisis management, stories of discouragement and frustration, as well as visions of change and growth.
SHORT PAPERS: THEME – CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL STUDIES
Situating Archives in South Asia Studies
Speakers: Henria Aton (Information, University of Toronto)
Abstract: This presentation draws from the first chapter of my dissertation, entitled “Tamil in the Multiverse: Power, Memory, and Loss in Contemporary Sri Lankan Archives”. Drawing on Michelle Caswell’s article criticizing the neglect of archival studies scholarship by scholars of the humanities interested in the ever-abstract “The Archive,” this presentation offers a double critique. First, scholars of South Asia who have written about archives without citing and/or not acknowledging the abundance of relevant archival studies scholarship are damaging their own ability to think differently and beyond disciplinary boundaries about colonialism, nationalism, and knowledge production. Second, archival studies scholarship (with some notable exceptions) has also failed to engage with South Asia, a vast place rich in archives and archival histories that transcend borders and holds enormous theoretical and practical value. This presentation engages with the double critique by tracking the entwined histories of archival science and South Asia studies (area studies). I will present my preliminary analysis of The Indian Archives, a journal published by the National Archives of India after independence. I argue that The Indian Archives offers a new perspective about archival science, one that troubles binary narratives about the colonizer vs. the colonizers and the global north vs. the global north.
Deserters, Stowaways, and Malafide Seamen: The Records Continuum of the 1930 Merchant Seamen Census
Speakers: Johnathan Thayer, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Queens College, City University of New York
Abstract: Since its inception in 1790, the enumeration of people via the mechanism of the U.S. census has influenced federal and local government resource allocation. This paper proposes to examine the extraordinary 1930 U.S. Merchant Seamen Census, which attempted to classify every merchant sailor in every major U.S. port within the context of increasingly restrictive immigration legislation positioned against a perceived “alien seamen” crisis that brought intense scrutiny to U.S. ports, merchant and passenger ships, and foreign sailors.
Merchant seamen, because of their persistent transience, “bluewater masculinity,”
and extreme multiculturalism, have always been perceived as inherently alien, and therefore have constantly posed challenges to the boundaries of U.S. citizenship. During the years between the Immigration Act of 1917, the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, and the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, merchant ships with crews legally entitled to shore leave served as platforms for acts of impersonation of merchant seamen, stowaways, and migrant smuggling rings that collectively presented powerful nodes of mobility for potential illegal immigration into the U.S. This paper will argue that the 1930 Merchant Seamen was a direct response to these venues of subversion, and that the outbreak of dragnet raids and deportation of non-citizen merchant seamen in sailortown districts in major port cities during 1931 were legitimized, in part, by government data collection.
This paper proposes to examine the records continuum of the 1930 Merchant Seamen census, reactivating its contexts of creation, use, disposition, and afterlives with the intent of historizing a singular instance of government surveillance over a severely marginalized population of transient maritime laborers.
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa vs. The National Museum of the American Indian: The Production of Indigenous Public History and Memory in New Zealand vs. the United States
Speakers: Jeff Hirschy, University of Southern Mississippi
Abstract: New Zealand and the United States of America are both settler societies founded in territories already controlled by Indigenous peoples. In New Zealand, it was the Maori people and in the United States it was the numerous Native American tribes living in North America. Both peoples were pushed aside by the arriving white settlers. But, in New Zealand, the Maori people were able to semi-successfully carve out a distinct cultural space that just managed to preserved their society and culture within a wider multi-cultural New Zealand. This is unlike the Native Americans in the United States who were banished to the outskirts of wider American society and placed on reservations to basically rot physically, culturally, and spiritually and who still remain on the outskirts of American culture and society in the 21st century.
The success of Maoris in integrating themselves into wider New Zealand society also extends to museums and archives in ways that Native American culture hasn’t managed to achieve in the archives and museums of the United States. Because of this success, information institutions like the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Auckland War Memorial Museum have establish better techniques and principles to preserve, manage, and remember Maori culture within their walls compared to what museums in the United States like the National Museum of the American Indian have done for Indigenous culture there in the United States.
The museums and archives in the United States that focus on Native matters, like the National Museum of the American Indian, can learn from the museums in New Zealand that celebrate Maori culture to establish better techniques and principles to more successfully celebrate, preserve and remember Native American culture. Doing this would create a stronger public history and memory for Native Americans across the United States.
SHORT PAPERS: THEME – DIASPORAS AND DISAPPEARANCE
Overcoming the impulse to secrecy: A Search Unit’s access to records in the ongoing search for the disappeared.
Speakers: Natalia Bermúdez Qvortrup
Abstract: In 2016, a peace agreement was signed in Colombia that saw the implementation of a transitional justice (TJ) system to deal with the violations of nearly six decades of conflict. Due to extreme high numbers of enforced disappearances in Colombia (120,000 –going up dramatically at the moment within the context of the current protests), one of the TJ mechanisms created was the Unit of Search for Disappeared Persons (UBPD). Its mandate is the protection of the families’ right to know the truth regarding the fate of victims. The UBPD applies a humanitarian and extrajudicial approach to the search, meaning it does not attribute responsibility. This approach is implemented to ensure that information is shared more easily in a context where information about violations is often withheld or manipulated to avoid accountability and for fear of reprisals.
Through interviews and document studies, this inductive and qualitative investigation describes the UBPD’s access to records of the different parties to the conflict (the Government & the FARC), looking into the information barriers the UBPD has experienced in its collection of data, and whether, or how, they are overcome. An investigation of information-sharing within a humanitarian and extrajudicial framework highlights the extent to which access to information and records is possible, the challenges that arise and how they may be met in a context of a weak state with historically high levels of distrust and a strong administrative bureaucracy.
What is the relationship of the UBPD with the different government offices and the FARC? To what extent is there compliance, willingness or adversarialism? What are the barriers to information and how are they overcome?
The paper is part of a larger doctoral project that investigates the role of archives in Colombia in the context of enforced disappearance.
The Amplification Project: Documenting, Preserving, and Sharing Art of Forced Displacement
Speakers: Dr. Kathy Carbone, UCLA
Abstract: Formed in 2019, The Amplification Project: Digital Archive for Forced Migration, Contemporary Art, and Action is a public, participatory community-led digital archive of art and activism inspired, influenced, or affected by forced displacement. The Amplification Project offers a platform for artists, activists, and other cultural producers to document, preserve, and share work in any medium that narrates or contemplates lived or observed experiences of exile, crossing borders, seeking asylum, detention and refugee camps, and refugeehood. I co-founded and direct The Amplification Project with an international group of artists, curators, and activists: Biba Sheikh, Vukašin Nedeljković, Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson, and Pinar Öğrenci. Since launching the archive in mid-2020, fourteen artists worldwide have submitted over 100+ photographs, digital images of visual artwork, photo- and illustrated narratives, and videos. Through the notions of “slow activism” (Wallace Heim) and socially engaged archival practice, in this paper, I reflect on the origins and development of The Amplification Project and its community, our current work, and future aspiratio ns. I also ask: What role can participatory community-led digital archives play in today’s evolving conversations about forced migration, asylum, and refuge? What kinds of solidarity building and collective action can archives do in support of asylum seekers and refugees?
PANEL: Exploring Archival Recovery and Reuse Across Disciplines
- Caitlin Christian-Lamb, University of Maryland
- Cooper Clarke, University of Maryland
- Katrina Fenlon, University of Maryland
- Hannah Frisch, University of Maryland
- Diana Marsh, University of Maryland
- Hilary Szu Yin Shiue, University of Maryland
- Selena St. Andre, University of Maryland
- Victoria Van Hyning, University of Maryland
- Christine Borgman, University of California, Los Angeles
Abstract: Increasingly, recognition of the vast value of data lying dormant within archives and cultural collections has spurred various efforts toward data rescue, recovery, and reuse within and beyond cultural institutions. These initiatives include but are not limited to crowdsourcing (e.g. Evans 2007; Ridge, ed. 2014; Van Hyning, 2019), efforts to salvage politically vulnerable scientific data (Janz, 2018), and efforts to extract computationally amenable research data from within collections to support novel reuse across disciplines. Yet, despite the substantial and growing literature on data reuse and curation to support reuse (e.g., Borgman, 2016; Tenopir et al., 2015; Akmon et al., 2011; Palmer et al., 2011; Schöch, 2013; Poole & Garwood, 2020; Padilla et al., 2019), many stakeholders’ attitudes towards, and practices of archival data recovery and reuse remains uneven and siloed.
Christine Borgman’s monograph Big Data, Little Data, No Data (2015) broadly maps and deeply explores this complex, multidisciplinary landscape, arguing that “[t]hese are collective challenges, best addressed as knowledge infrastructure issues. The more stakeholders who come to the table, the deeper the conversation is likely to be” (273). Our Recovering and Reusing Archival Data (RRAD) Lab, formed at the University of Maryland iSchool in Spring 2021, studies the systems and communities of practice involved in cultures of recovery and reuse, to identify convergent, flexible, scalable solutions to these persistent and pressing issues.
In this panel, our team of early career archival and information scholars will ask of three interrelated projects exploring these collective challenges: Where are the gaps in collective efforts toward data reuse across a range of institutional contexts? What barriers confront different disciplinary communities? How can archival practice, structures, and norms support data reuse?
We will share a historical data reuse case study from the National Agricultural Library, anthropological data reuse at the National Anthropological Archives, and opportunities and challenges for the reuse of volunteer-generated crowdsourced data.
FRIDAY, JULY 16
SHORT PAPERS: THEME – EDUCATION
Graduate Archival Education: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions
- Alex Poole (Drexel University, USA)
- Jane Zhang (Catholic University of America, USA)
- Ashley Todd-Diaz (Towson University, USA)
Abstract: Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics (Alex Poole) in partnership with the Catholic University of America’s Department of Library and Information Science (Jane Zhang) has been awarded an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program National Forum Grant. The research project, “Exploring New Frontiers in 21st Century Archival Education,” aims to explore the historical trajectory and current state of archival education and to build capacity in master’s level archival curriculum. As part of this research, the project has collected comprehensive curriculum data from existing archival graduate programs and conducted semi-structured interviews of full-time tenure-track archives faculty listed in the Society of American Archivists’ (SAA) Directory of Archival Education (https://www2.archivists.org/dae). The former (curriculum data) sheds light on how archival education is currently taught in graduate programs in the context of the SAA Guidelines for A Graduate Programs in Archival Studies (GPAS) curriculum (https://www2.archivists.org/prof-education/graduate/gpas/curriculum). The latter (semi-structured interview data) helps explore the perspectives of current archival faculty regarding the biggest challenges facing archival education and potential changes in the archival curriculum in the next decade. The proposed 20-minute paper presentation will discuss findings, which, collectively, reflect the foundations we rely on, obstacles we must overcome, and directions we may move in to develop graduate archival curriculum to meet the needs of the 21st century archival education.
Enacting Solidarity in the Archival Classroom
Speakers: Maggie Schreiner, New York University
Abstract: Over the course of the Spring 2021 semester, students in a “Community Archives” course in New York University’s Archives and Public History program engaged in a semester-long collaboration with CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, a grassroots community group that works to build power across diverse poor and working class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City. The course, which is cross-listed between the archives and public history tracks, aims to provide students with a strong theoretical grounding in anti-racist, community-based archival practice while directly engaging in the messiness and ethical complexity of community collaboration.
CAAAV, founded in 1986 as the Community Against Anti-Asian Violence, initially focused on responding to the root causes of violence in 1980s and 1990s, as well as opposing NYPD violence against all People of Color in NYC. Taught during a dramatic and frightening rise in anti-Asian violence, the course used CAAAV’s informal archive to contextualize present-day events within a long history of anti-Asian violence and community responses in NYC and beyond. This presentation will provide a case study on uniting social movement and mutual aid solidarities with archival pedagogy in the classroom to teach students how archives can be impactful tools for liberation, while simultaneously providing direct support to grassroots campaigns for racial and economic justice.
WORKSHOP: ‘Becoming an Archivist in a Time of Uncertainty and Unrest’: Teaching Introduction to Archives Courses in the Current Climate
Speakers: Caitlin Christian-Lamb, University of Maryland College of Information Studies; Marika Cifor, University of Washington Information School; Chelsea Gunn, University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information; Adam Kriesberg Simmons University School of Library and Information Science; Jamie A. Lee, University of Arizona School of Information
Abstract: This workshop aims to address a central issue in the archival community, and one which many AERI participants confront regularly: the question of how to prepare future archivists to enter the field. While discussions of what the balance between theory and hands-on practice should be in an introductory course, how to craft critical and inclusive syllabi, and how to include the multiplicity of key archival ideas remain central in the mind of archival instructors, teaching in 2020 and 2021 has brought additional challenges: changing modes of instruction and/or assignments to incorporate an online-only environment, how to best support students during a pandemic and a sustained period of police brutality and unrest, and how to empower them to enter the profession equipped to confront the current challenges facing the field. Pandemic pedagogy itself offers a challenge for instructors, requiring critical thinking through how to introduce a new cohort of archivists to the world they operate in. Drawing inspiration from the title of Punzalan’s (2017) open letter to archival students, this workshop will consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected introductory archival pedagogy, what’s changed and what may be worth holding on to when the crisis moves into its next phases.
Workshop speakers will introduce the major challenges of teaching introductory courses and discuss their own experiences, followed by breakout room discussions and exercises designed to identify priorities in teaching introductory courses. Outcomes of the workshop include establishing an AERI syllabus repository and producing working documents such as crowdsourcing suggested modules, readings, and assignments for introduction to archives courses. The organizers of this workshop envision that this session could establish a regular, ongoing conversation at AERI around introductory archival courses.
SHORT PAPERS: THEME- EDUCATION
Curricular and Experiential Impacts of the Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship
Speakers: Sarah Buchanan, Rebecca Benson, Eric Saxon, Antanella Tirone, University of Missouri
Abstract: Audiovisual archiving is a national priority with a narrowing technical window of opportunity, especially for audiotape material. GBH, the Boston-based public broadcaster, partnered five graduate archival education programs with a local public media station in order to both expand area representation in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) via original public media programs, and to build audiovisual preservation capacity in the archives and records profession nationwide. Graduate students enrolled in the archival programs could complete a semester-long Fellowship in 2018. Faculty Advisors comprised a cohort of archival educators who each met regularly with the Fellows on their campus, with a Host Mentor at the station, and with a Local Mentor with AV expertise to establish equipment and space for inventorying, cataloging, digitizing, and ingesting local media as a Special Collection in the AAPB – a collaboration between GBH and the Library of Congress. In addition to project documentation and demonstrations, Fellows contributed to the development of lesson plans and curricula on audiovisual preservation in their MLIS degree program. On our campus the Fellowship coincided with the launch of new Archival Studies courses designed to meet students’ expanding career targets and programmatic guidelines of national organizations (SAA GPAS and ALA Standards, and internationally the iSchools’ preservation of information goal). Audiovisual preservation and digitization therefore occupied from the outset a place of prominence in the Archival Studies curriculum that will form the core of discussion in this presentation, and the Fellows’ input ensured that AV archives remain formative to subsequent students’ experience. The presentation will detail campus-specific contributions to the IMLS-funded partnership, including hands-on skills development, training webinars, peer instruction workshops, mentorship, evaluation, future planning, collection growth, and promotion of the primary sources made newly available for research.
The Changing Nature of Archival Instruction: Preparing Archivists and Faculty to Promote Student Learning Through Sustained Collaborations
Speakers: Pelle Tracey, School of Information, University of Michigan; Patricia Garcia, School of Information, University of Michigan
Abstract: The pedagogical benefits of teaching and learning with primary sources are changing the nature of archival instruction and expanding the role of archivists in undergraduate education. However, archivists report feeling unprepared for the changing nature of archival instruction and the growing expectation that they will support student learning. Thus, as the role of archivists in undergraduate education continues to expand, there is an increasing need to provide professional development opportunities that better prepare archivists to promote student learning and primary source instruction. In this paper, we address the following research question: How does a sustained professional development experience influence how archivists see their role in teaching and learning with archives? In order to address this question, we focus on the experiences of archivists who participated in the “[anonymized] Fellows Seminars,” a five-year research project to develop effective pedagogical practices for undergraduates through sustained engagement between faculty and archivists. We recruited eight archivists to participate via two cohorts. We collected data using a semi-structured interview technique designed to gather qualitative data on broad areas of interest related to the archivists’ motivations for participating in the seminar, views of faculty domain and archival expertise, professional experiences interacting with faculty, knowledge of teaching and learning with primary sources, views on collaborative opportunities between archivists and faculty, and general experience participating in the seminar. Our findings demonstrate that sustained professional development experiences between faculty and archivists affirmed the archivists’ professional expertise, increased their pedagogical awareness, and helped them gain a broader perspective on the impact of their archival work. Our findings also revealed the need to better account for power relations in faculty-archivist relationships when designing collaborative professional development opportunities.
SHORT PAPERS: THEME- AFFECT AND EMOTION
Emotional Responses to Archival Work: Preliminary Findings
Speakers: Christa Sato, Social Work, University of Toronto; Henria Aton Information, University of Toronto; Wendy Duff, Dean and Professor, Information, University of Toronto
Abstract: As co-witnesses to the lives and stories they archive, archivists and archival scholars have the potential to be deeply affected by records, especially those containing emotionally challenging or sensitive accounts of human suffering and survival. Archiving such records is a productive and important endeavour that is vital to maintaining our collective history. Nevertheless, the impact of such work on archivists has been largely neglected. In response to this issue, in June 2019 Wendy Duff and Henria Aton carried out a pilot research project and presented results at AERI.
In 2020, we began a three-year, SSHRC-funded project in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto (PIs: Wendy Duff and Cheryl Regehr). Drawing from expertise in both disciplines, our research seeks to better understand how archivists are impacted by their work and how institutions support or fail to support their archival workers. The wider objectives of this research are to develop a theoretical model about archives, emotions, and trauma that is unique to archivists; to create open-access tools and educational materials; and to develop a training workshop for archival students and professionals. In our presentation for AERI 2020, we will share preliminary results from interviews with archivists and discuss the experience of working across disciplines in order to produce broader and more rigorous scholarship.
Expanding Creatorship: Archival Affect and Networked Creation
Speaker: Bethany Radcliff, University of Michigan School of Information PhD student
Abstract: In this work-in-progress paper presentation, I will discuss my recent master’s report, which I am revising into an article that I plan on submitting to a journal soon. I hope to invite feedback as I work on this revision. I will discuss the limitations of creatorship alongside archival power and lingering notions of neutrality obscure the nuanced, creative, and affective contributions of the archivist, whose decisions influence the way collections come to exist as sources of information. Affect is a “force” that is “unruly,” and is “deeply implicated in how we live, form subjectivities, connect and disconnect, desire, take action, and practice difference, identity, and community” (Cifor 2021, para. 1). Tracing affect and its movement into the archival realm, I argue that the archivist’s creative contributions are recognized through an understanding of their affective experiences. Kathleen Stewart’s (2007) Ordinary Affects alongside feminist new materialist theory provides a framework for understanding affective experience in archival processing. This complicates creatorship, making the archivist a co-creator in a network of creatorship which I argue is seen clearly through work in personal archives. Through interviews with six archivists who work at memory institutions at the University of Texas at Austin, I learned that affective moments are interwoven in archival work, and often contribute to the way a collection exists in the world, but co-creative networks of creation complicate this. Bringing awareness to traumatic or sensitive affective experiences makes a place for training and protection in the archival profession. Better understanding the affective impact of archival collections and capturing this experience adds a meaningful layer to memory work. Recognizing affective experiences makes place for an archival future that pushes against the patriarchal power of archival authority and makes a place for preserving more fluid and diverse memories.
PANEL: Community-Driven Archives Initiative: BIPOC and Queer Solidarity and Collective Power
- Alex Soto – Assistant Librarian, Labriola National American Indian Data Center, Arizona State University (ASU) Library
- Nancy Godoy – Associate Archivist, Chicano/a Research Collection, and Interim Head of Archives, Arizona State University (ASU) Library
- Jessica Salow, Project Archivist, Community-Driven Archives Initiative, Arizona State University (ASU) Library
- Lourdes Pereira (Hia-Ced O’odham and Yoeme), ASU Student Archivist, Labriola National American Indian Data Center, Arizona State University (ASU) Library
Abstract: Archival repositories in America, especially in Arizona, are dominated by white narratives that promote white supremacy, settler colonialism, and dehumanize Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who have lived on this land for centuries. The Community-Driven Archives (CDA) Initiative and Labriola National American Indian Data Center at Arizona State University (ASU) Library is actively addressing inequities and erasure by empowering BIPOC and Queer communities through educational workshops and events. We promote life-long learning by showing people how to preserve their own history for future generations and create intergenerational and intersectional safe spaces that encourage community healing, acknowledge historical trauma, and begin to change patterns of anti-blackness, racism, homophobia, and transphobia, all products of colonialism within BIPOC and Queer communities.
Moving beyond archival theory, this presentation will share our lived experiences as BIPOC and/or Queer archivists at a predominately white academic institution as well as how we are decolonizing archives by promoting solidarity, equity, justice, and sovereignty. Our CDA teams and community members are challenging the way historical records are created, redefining what an archive is, what should be included, who should have access, and how cultural protocols influence community archives. We seek to show how academic institutions can center community needs and knowledge, implement CDA theory and practice, and dismantle power structures that dehumanize BIPOC and Queer communities.
Working Plenary: AERI Ethics and Values Working Group
The following recordings will be available on the AERI YouTube channel only.
PANEL: Digitalization of records management in the Norwegian public sector
Speakers: Daniel Hagen, OsloMet
Abstract: An examination of how records management has been changed by and helped shape the digitalization of the Norwegian public sector. One aspect is the day-to-day work of the records management professional, another aspect is the public and their access to and use of records, and finally, the work of public sector organizations on digitalizing their services with a particular focus on records management systems and their relationship to other business systems. This talk will concern some of the key areas where records management work and use of records has changed, as a starting point for further research and discussions i.e. the implication and direct effects these changes have had on the privacy, right to information or other rights of the public.
PANEL: Archival (Re) Description and Reparative Description in an Age of Efficiency
Speakers: Sam(antha) Meier, Northern Arizona University; Jess(ica) Guijarro, Queens College, City University of New York; Rachel Telford, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
Abstract: In 2019, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Technical Subcommittee on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (TS-DACS) released a revised Statement of Principles for archival description which emphasize that descriptive labor “is an iterative, ethical practice” that “promotes responsible and responsive descriptive practices” centered on user and community needs. The new Statement of Principles is informed by parallel discourses within the recent professional literature: one emphasizing the need for “iterative,” “efficient,” or “extensible” archival processing; the other imagining the possibility of “reparative,” “decolonized,” or “liberatory” archival description to address historic and contemporary biases in descriptive language and metadata. A key concept for both goals is that of re-description, commonly understood in the profession as the work of remediating, updating, building upon, or otherwise transforming existing products of archival description to address researcher needs or community concerns.
In this session, speakers will explore archivists’ conceptualization(s) and praxes of archival re-description. Sam Meier will provide an overview of archival re-description as detailed in the North American professional literature and report on initial discussions with members of TS-DACS regarding the development of the 2019 DACS Statement of Principles. Jess Guijarro will summarize initial results from her graduate research surveying practitioners at American academic institutions about their experiences remediating harmful language in collection description. Rachel Telford will summarize ongoing efforts in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress to improve descriptive practices and develop a methodology for re-description.
As the practice of archival re-description gains traction within the profession, archivists must delineate what actions and interventions constitute re-description, how re-description work can be undertaken in different institutions, and what is to be done with the information left behind. This panel seeks to illustrate nascent understandings of archival re-description and reparative articulated within the profession and to suggest avenues for further research.