Posts Tagged awareness
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…
To raise awareness of the profession, the International Council on Archives (ICA) is enlisting the support of the public to promote Universal Declaration on Archives (UDA) by signing the UDA online register. The UDA has been endorsed by the ICA as a key pillar of its outreach and advocacy policy and strategy. Followers and supporters may also share the link to further publicize the Declaration.
The UDA was adopted in principle in 2009 at the ICA Annual General Meeting in Malta. It was developed by a special working group of the ICA, the SPA (Section of Professional Associations), based on the model of the “Déclaration québécoise des Archives“. On 17 September 2010, the ICA unanimously approved the text of the UDA at their Annual General Meeting held in Oslo. On 10th November 2011, the UDA was officially endorsed by UNESCO and adopted by the 36th plenary session of the General Conference of UNESCO .
The Declaration concisely outlines the unique characteristics of archives and the management requirements to provide ongoing records access. It has been conceived as a basis for advocacy and promotion to support archives and the profession, and addresses a wide public. Available in 25 languages, it is a statement of the relevance of archives in modern society and marks an important step in improving understanding and awareness of archives among the general public and key decision-makers.
Simon Chu, a Government Archivist in China and former Director of the Government Records Service, has been trying to bring archives legislation to Hong Kong to empower the records service. As a member of the Archives Action Group, Chu has long advocated for this cause. In an article he’s written for Human Rights in China, he cites the Guatemala case of the 2005 discovery of the Secret Police Archive as an example of the function of creating and managing records to keep archives. Currently the records service is equipped with guidelines on how public servants are to manage their records. Without appropriate legislation, records officers and archivists have no authority to enforce the proper management of records. This, Chu states, has lead to the arbitrary destruction of “six million pieces of records”.
On December 1-2, the University of Texas at Austin (UT) hosted a conference as part of its collaboration with the Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala, or the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional (AHPN). The interdisciplinary conference marked the unveiling of a UT-hosted digital archive that will serve as an on-line digital repository for millions of documents from the Historical Archive of the National Police in Guatemala. The conference considered how use of the Archive has helped to deepen understanding of Guatemala’s history, and to advance human rights, both crucial to strengthening Guatemala’s embattled democracy…
According to a November 16 blog entry in Occupy Wall Street Library, organizers have not been able to locate library materials through the mayor’s office since the materials’ seizure. Claims have been made that, “Many books [have been] destroyed. . . most of [the] library is missing…damaged or destroyed”.
Incidentally organizers had begun collecting archival material as part of the library collection. In a separate effort altogether, Ben Alexander, Professor and Director of the Archival Studies Program, and Head of Special Collections & Archives, Queens College, CUNY, aims to form an archival group to support the nationally organized effort to document and capture the evolving Occupy movement.
Here is Alexander’s proposal:
“…I do not pose this suggestion as a political comment or strategy. My interest is exclusively archival. Simply, I suggest that this movement is a defining extension of an on-going process of activism, and advocacy for Civil Rights that is at the center of the American experience. It is a defining movement of our time. Further, I believe the Occupy movement (the strategy of arguing for the interests of 99%) is shaping evolving discussions of inclusion and plurality as we enter the 21st century. As I result, I feel it important that professionals assist in its documentation and memory.
I propose “Occupy Archives” as working title for this group. Most succinctly, I propose that this group establish a network of contacts and archives who agree to lend professional assistance and advice to the Occupy movement. I have contact with many members of the Occupy Wall Street movement and state their universal commitment to preserving and documenting these efforts. (Many of you may be aware of the 5,000+ volume Library at Occupy Wall Street).
It would seem a logical extension then for interested institutions to offer direct involvement in both capturing the movement as well as preserving its evidences. Or, to simply provide for the movement’s documentation. A further extension would seem a collaborative digital presence. At Queens College we have begun work on all of the above to very interesting and appreciated (by Occupiers) result…
At present, and to get started, I would suggest my compiling a list of interested professionals / institutions based on response to this message with an eye towards outreach and engagement with the “Occupy” community.”
To get involved in Alexander’s proposal, contact him via email.