Evans – Question 5
5What radical idea or change would you like archival institutions, archivists and librarians, and/or users of archives to adopt?
Meredith R. Evans
Associate University Librarian – Washington University
¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 I would like archival institutions and archivists to take more risks and work more closely with underrepresented communities to ensure their perspective is recorded regardless of format. The documentation of different cultures and traditions produces an accurate depiction of society and will accurately inform the historical record. Ignoring or shying away from what is uncomfortable is a disservice to future generations and perpetuates only the views of majority institutions, elites, and/or leaders.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 It is also important to document the now and the living. I consider contemporary archives to be quite useful. They are fundamentally unlike museums, where contemporary items are often collected in real time but are stored in warehouses for decades and not exhibited to the public. An archive has an opportunity to engage a variety of constituencies. We can ask the record creators and contributors about their lives and thoughts. We can collect their current records, rather than wait until they are gone. For when they are gone, their documents will have to be deciphered and interpreted by a researcher without the guidance of a living voice.