Bias, Perception, and Archival Praxis: A conversation between Thomas Padilla and Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez (dh+lib)

Archival work requires an ethics of care for the deeply personal and the deeply political. My former boss at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics often said that all art is political. The same can be said about archives and archival work. Record creation, keeping, obstruction, or misrepresentation are all acts of identity and power. Who gets to be remembered and historicized by way of record creation? Who is forgotten or purposefully silenced in history by way of omission or destruction of records? How are records themselves (official records created for governmental purposes in particular) used to communicate misguided notions of holistic representation, truthfulness, neutrality, and objectivity? These are all questions that initially drew me to and continue to keep me in the profession.

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