One Book, One Profession 2020/2021

The SAA Publications Board has selected for its 2020/2021 One Book, One Profession reading initiative A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age by Laura Millar. The safeguarding of authentic facts is essential, especially in this disruptive Orwellian age, where digital technologies have opened the door to a post-truth world in which “alternative facts” can be so easily accepted as valid. And because facts matter, archives matter.

This provocative call-to-arms explains the concept of evidence and discusses the ways in which records, archives, and data are not just useful tools for our daily existence but also essential sources of evidence both today and in the future It includes examples that illustrate the critical role evidence plays in upholding rights, enforcing responsibilities, tracing family or community stories, and capturing and sharing memories. And it examines the impact of digital technologies on how records and information are created and used. 

From Mesopotamian clay tablets to World War II photographs to Twitter and Facebook posts, Millar’s stirring book encourages readers to understand more fully the importance of their own records and archives, for themselves and for future generations.

There's plenty to discuss in this eye-opening treatise that not only appeals to archivists, librarians, and allied professionals, but also the public. Join your colleagues in thinking about what archivists do and why. Let’s read A Matter of Facts together! 

A Matter of Facts is the first book in the Archival Futures Series, co-published by SAA and the American Library Association.



Get the Book!

Host a Book Discussion via Zoom

  • Host a book discussion within your institution, among archivists in your local community, or at a regional meeting. 
  • LitLovers has some great tips for running a book club and facilitating discussion.
  • SAA can provide Zoom access.

Download Study Guide Questions

Participate in Selected Events

  • "As a Matter of Fact: Convincing the World That Archives Matter" — a virtual book discussion on March 25,2021, sponsored by the SAA Publications Board. View it here.

  • Follow #OBOP2021 on twitter for more updates and to join the conversation profession-wide 



One Book, One Profession Past Selections

2019: Archival Values: Essays in Honor of Mark A. Greene

2018: Perspectives on Women's Archives

2017: Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion

2016: Teaching with Primary Sources