Global Issues Forum: Archival Ethics & Social Justice

Aug 28, 2008
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Event Location: Grand A


Dr. Randall C. Jimerson (Moderator)
Director, Archives Program
Western Washington University
Rethinking Archival Ethics

Dr. David A. Wallace, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
University of Michigan
Locating Agency (Draft) (PDF)

Anthea Josias
University of Michigan

Tywanna Whorley, PhD
African American Resource Library and Cultural Center


Global Issues Forum: Archival Ethics and Social Justice: What Is Our Professional Responsibility?

 SAA’s Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct seeks to engage all archivists in discussing the intersection of archival ethics and the recent call for archivists to engage in social justice concerns. What does “archival ethics” mean in a society beset by challenges to public accountability, questioning of collective memory and national/group identity, threats to social justice, and uncertainty about social diversity and forgotten voices in the archival record? Do archival ethics require engagement in these processes? What would this mean for governmental, religious, university, nonprofit, or business archives? Even if we could define a “social justice ethic,” should we? What are the implications of these issues for our professional identity?

This open forum will begin by considering the "Key Propositions and Questions," presented in the Nelson Mandela Foundation's Memory for Justice: Report on a Colloquium (18 August 2005), available as a PDF below. Panelists will discuss the implications of these changing perceptions of archives and engage the audience in a dialogue/debate concerning how American archivists may choose to respond to these issues. After brief opening statements, the focus of this session will be on audience comment and discussion.


Memory for Justice: Report on a Colloquium (8.18.05) (PDF)


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