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The impulse to create archives is rooted in the very human need to leave one's mark on the world. Whether through letters, diaries, reports, photographs, films, or a teenager's simple need to scrawl “I was here” on a subway wall, there's a deep desire in individuals to tell their stories, to be seen—literally and figuratively—in archives. With this desire also comes the need to ensure that archives are as diverse as the world we live in and to preserve the individuals and cultures that have been consciously or unconsciously underserved in the archives.
Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion, edited by Mary A. Caldera and Kathryn M. Neal, features ten essays that explore prominent themes related to diversity, including creating a diverse record, recruiting diversity to the profession and retaining a diverse workforce, and questioning the archive itself, on representation, authority, neutrality, objectivity, and power.
This book illustrates a multitude of perspectives and issues so that fresh voices can emerge alongside more familiar ones, and new concepts can be examined with new treatments of established ideas. Diversity is an ever-evolving concept; the term itself is increasingly rephrased as inclusion. By stimulating further ideas and conversation, we can come closer to a common understanding of what diversity and inclusion are or can be and, perhaps most importantly, how they may be realized in archives and the archival profession.
What Others Are Saying:
“These essays are meticulously cited, thought provoking, and sometimes achingly earnest . . . [they] will remind the reader that much discussion has happened within the Society of American Archivists about how to make the profession as a whole more inclusive and more representative of all societal facets, but that we have miles to go before we sleep.”
—Rosemary K. J. Davis, Amherst College, Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists, Volume 11, Number 2
“Through the Archival Looking Glass is a much needed addition to the existing body of scholarly thought. It is much more than simply an overview of the current landscape and practice but offers up practical and realistic solutions . . . this collection of essays should be best viewed as a springboard which will hopefully inspire further original thought on what is still an emerging subject.”
—Stephen Scarth, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Archives and Records: The Journal of the Archives and Records Association
"Caldera and Neal have compiled a highly readable collection of essays. Contributors express a refreshing passion for the ongoing development of archival theory and practice. Often very personal in their accounts as to why diversity and inclusion is important, the contributors demonstrate a high level of intellectual rigour and a focus on practical and considered application of diversity programs."
—Jennifer Jerome, LINC Tasmania, Archives and Manuscripts, 2015
"Though the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion, edited by Mary A. Caldera and Kathryn M. Neal, brings together a series of essays that challenge the reader to think critically about archival practice and education, evaluate the current demographics of the profession, and actively battle the silences left by history. "
—Alexandra M. Bisio, Processing Archivist, Critical Theory Archive University of California, Irvine, Journal of Western Archives, 2014
"Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion, edited by Mary A. Caldera and Kathryn M. Neal, examines and questions the nature of documenting not only the traditional historical record, but also encompassing a diverse historical record. In addition, this book looks for new ways to create a diverse workforce as well as understand the concepts of representation, neutrality, objectivity, and authority."
—Laura Starratt, Rose Library Emory University, Provenance, 2016
"The essayists represented in this volume are bold in discussing how their personal identities and experiences inform their engagement with and understanding of diversity as archival professionals."
—Amanda E. Strauss, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, New England Archivists Newsletter, 2015