ASA 2023 BIENNIAL CONFERENCE
Care for the People in the Archives
Dates: May 25-27, 2023
Location: Governor's Room, Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre, 10440 108 Ave, Edmonton
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Douglas
Jennifer Douglas is associate professor and program chair of the Master of Archival Studies program at the School of Information, University of British Columbia, situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. Her current research explores ideas about care in archival creation and preservation, recordkeeping as grief work, and recordkeeping as an act of love. She is also deeply interested in questions of archival representation. She teaches courses on arrangement and description, personal and community archives, and research approaches in archival studies.
At the heart of archival work are the people impacted by the work. There are archival workers who process, and make records accessible; donors who provide the archives with its holdings and users who access those records. The purpose of archival work is to provide information to people and sometimes that information can be difficult and emotional. An aspect of our work that is little discussed at the archival schools is psychology. Working with records can be a challenge with regards to the human aspect. We may come across donors who are difficult or grieving and donating a set of records could be part of their grieving process. Or, as archivists process records, the content could document traumatic human experiences such as death, torture, abuse, or hold other disturbing content. Or, we may help users in our reading rooms who may have unexpected emotional responses to the content in the records – like flashbacks of a traumatic event. For ASA’s Conference 2023, we will examine these difficult aspects of our work.
Conference Registration opens March 22