Rights in records as a platform for participative archiving

Anne J. Gilliland, Sue McKemmish

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


    In this paper we reflect on our engagement in research in Australia and the states emerging out of the former Yugoslavia relating to the role of recordkeeping and archiving in human rights and social justice contexts, and in post-conflict societies. This research has engendered a rethinking of participatory archiving as it relates to official as well as other types of records, an expanded conceptualisation of archival activism and a new concept of archival autonomy, recently defined by Evans et al. It also provides insights into the vital transformative roles that these factors individually and collectively might play in such situations. Based on our research findings, a review of relevant critical literature in archival studies, and our own immersive experiences over many years as archival and recordkeeping researchers, and as educators and practitioners, we present an integrated set of rights in records that acknowledge and respect the interests of the different agents who are involved or implicated in records and recordkeeping processes. The guiding principles for the development of the set of rights originate in deep reflection on what constitutes ethical and pluralized recordkeeping and archiving. While we may advocate for and invoke codified rights in support of transformative practice, the driving impulse to animate and prioritize 21st century recordkeeping and archival practice in human rights, social justice and post-conflict contexts has emanated from, and, we would argue, should ideally always emanate from personal, professional, institutional and national recognition of and response to ethical exigencies rather than as a result of externally-imposed rights-based directives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationArchival Education and Research
    Subtitle of host publicationSelected Papers from the 2014 AERI Conference
    EditorsRichard J. Cox, Alison Langmead, Eleanor Mattern
    Place of PublicationSacramento CA USA
    PublisherLitwin Books
    Number of pages31
    ISBN (Print)9781634000208
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Participatory archives
    • Rights in record
    • Archival appraisal
    • Archival description

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