I will be in San Francisco all of next week for the Society of American Archivists annual meeting. Of particular note: Global Issues Forum on “Archival Ethics and Social Justice: What is our Professional Responsibility?” Consisting of panelists and open discussion, the forum will begin by considering the “Key Propositions and Questions,” presented in the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Memory for Justice: Report on a Colloquium (18 August 2005). Let me quote two of the propositions here:
“Those who work with archives should be guided by a concept of, and commitment to, justice”
“The archive provides a powerful resource for restorative justice. It can be a tool for recognizing previously ignored injustices, as well as a tool to rectify the distortions of the past.”
The session is moderated by Rand Jimerson, who did a nice job of explicating many of these issues in an American Archivist article late last year titled “Archives for All: Professional Responsibility and Social Justice.”
I am also really looking forward to the plenary keynote by John Dean, who will have much to say I’m sure on government secrecy and access to information under the Bush administration.