Human Rights Archives Section

The Human Rights Archives Section aims to create a space for SAA members and other stakeholders (human rights advocates, scholars, government officials, and non-governmental organization workers) to increase dialogue and collaboration on issues related to the collection, preservation, disclosure, legal implications, and ethics of human rights documentation.

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[T]he presentations I attended during the Oral History Association’s 2017 annual meeting delivered critical historical narratives and resources that can help us to further challenge some of the nationalist myths that obscure the experiences and perspectives of various marginalized communities in American history. These presentations helped to illuminate important lessons we can learn from an engagement with the histories and contemporary concerns of marginalized peoples in the US. In honor of the holiday season, I have put together a short list of what I was most thankful for during OHA2017.
How are collections processed and presented regarding race and ethnicity? What is not collected and why? Who gets to say what is worth collecting? Operating from three distinct but interlocking perspectives, the authors will discuss their experiences navigating collection development and collection development policies as a Black woman archivist, a White woman anti-racist public librarian, and a Black woman academic librarian. The authors will look at the ways in which Black women as collections professionals face invisibility, coded language, and increased mental and emotional labor while operating in a profession that is majority White.
Our latest at the Human Rights Archives Section blog examines the challenges and rewards of curating an archival collection documenting capital punishment in the United States. The post summarizes presentations from the University at Albany's National Death Penalty Archive at the Fall 2017 Mid-Atlantic Region Archives Conference.
“We will put special emphasis on new leads,” said the retired special agent, Vince Pankoke, 59, who is leading the effort. “We need to verify stories as they come in, and we know that is going to lead to further investigation.”
While the Agency deserves credit for compiling a basic guide to searching their FOIA reading room, it still omits information or leaves it spread out across the Agency’s website.
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that thousands of sensitive records pertaining to abuses at Indigenous residential schools are confidential and should be destroyed.
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