Blogger's Manifesto: The realm of all things "information" are as vast as the ocean, as infinite as the universe. Today it is difficult to contain this nebulous topic. And in this post-modern age, it is easy to lose oneself to the vicissitudes of technology, data, and trends. With this blog, my promise to you, dear reader-should you have the patience and fortitude to follow me on this, my first, if clumsy and sophomoric attempt at yet another blog, amongst the millions already in fecund existence-is this: I will always do my best to expose and explore the issues as objectively as possible. I will keep my own sentiments to a minimum and refrain from taking sides on an issue. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to form your own opinions on a matter. I will relate all things that appear here back to the principles and goals stated in the Mission Statement and Vision of AW. I promise these things to you, dear reader, and more, if you stay with me, or pay this blog a visit from time-to-time.
Posted in Announcements on February 23, 2013
After much thought it is not without regret for me to say that I am putting this blog out to pasture. Over the last several months I moved to Norway and found a job here which is so far removed from where I started off professionally with respect to my aspirational interests as reflected in this blog. As such, I’ve found it difficult to maintain this site while my job occupies so much of my days.
I feel it is necessary to tell past and future followers of this blog that I am retiring the blog because I am still often contacted by many out there interested in being involved in one form or another of human rights documentation. It was my hope to relegate slowly from the fore of being the sole writer of posts here and delegate stories and forums to someone or a few on whom I could trust to maintain the spirit and integrity of the blog. I also hoped that from time to time, in the background, I could check back and continue to maintain the vision of Archivists Watch. But even this I haven’t had the time to carry out. In any event, there are sites out there already that do this job quite well and I have littered my blog with posts about their activities.
Going forward, should any of you ever wish to contribute regularly, or irregularly for that matter, or start a web forum through this blog, please do not hesitate to express your interest to me. I want Archivisits Watch to live on even if it means passing this blog on to someone else and no longer being there 100% of the time.
Thank you for reading.
Posted in News on November 1, 2012
The Swiss Peace Foundation (or simply SwissPeace) recently began a new project called Archives and Dealing with the Past. It is a joint venture between the foundation, the Swiss Federal Archives, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The project mandate is to offer a hub between archivists/documentalists and human rights activists dealing with the past. Members of the ICA Human Rights Working Group serve on their Advisory Board. Consequently, one aim of the project is to foster knowledge exchange between the two professional communities (of archivists and activists) and engage in knowledge management activities. In fact, SwissPeace reached out to the ICA HRWG Directory Project last month and discussions to converge on parallel projects are taking place.
Posted in News on October 8, 2012
At last month’s conference, “Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation”, a declaration was adopted addressing the challenge of digital amnesia. The four page document, made available on UNESCO’s website last week, is an extension of a principle in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is, each individual should be guaranteed access to information, including in digital format, and that national policies should be established to promote the right to information, open government and open data.
Also highlighted during the conference and its consequent declaration was the growing importance of industry in digitization and digital preservation among trusted digital repositories. The conference declaration adopted a call on industry to ensure long-term accessibility to trustworthy information contained in legacy formats. It further encouraged professional associations work with industry for the development of requirements of systems that embed preservation concern and assist in the development of a cohesive and practical vision of the way forward in addressing the management and preservation of trustworthy recorded information in all its forms in the digital environment.
Posted in News on September 16, 2012
An article from BBC News this week shares a report by the Associated Press revealing information to suggest that the Katyn massacre was suppressed at the highest levels in Washington. It has long been believed that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not want to question the version of events put out by Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan.
Katyn expert Allen Paul told AP some of the material did not appear in the record of Congressional hearings in 1951-52 held to investigate the massacre, suggesting it had been deliberately kept hidden. Among the new evidence is a report sent to President Roosevelt by the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – who did not challenge Stalin’s claim either – which also pointed to Soviet guilt…
Posted in Announcements on September 15, 2012
As part of New York Archives Week next month, the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (ART) and the New School Libraries and Archives are pleased to co-sponsor a symposium on archives and activism. They have posted a preliminary schedule and are still accepting registrations for the October 12 event.
The symposium covers topics surrounding the contention between activists movements pushing for reforms vis-a-vis conceptions of the archivist’s role in handling materials of cultural and social significance as one originating from hegemonic and traditional institutional frameworks. This symposium thus offers to reconceptualize the role of the archivist as societal needs evolve and technologies emerge while balancing the archives’ commitment to the institutions that fund and administer them…