Telling Stories About Stories
Archives Crossing Cultures, Communities, Geographies and Technologies
Author: Anne J. Gilliland
This book is a part of the Series on Archives, Archivists, and Society, Richard J. Cox, editor.
Building from the author’s recent research through the Metadata Archaeology Project, this book examines the discourse and narratives that surround and are embedded in several examples of diverse twenty-first century archives that, by design or by exigency, cross different cultures, communities, geographies, and technologies. Case studies, narrative and discourse analysis, interviews, ethnography and autoethnography are used in selected local and international archival settings to identify community concerns, decision points, areas of contestation, and ideological framings that arise in community and transnational archival endeavors. Each case study involves some digital component – whether it be curation of born-digital data, digitized records, digitization, digital recovery, digital repatriation, or media hybridity. Crossing boundaries of community, culture, and geography, the cases focus on issues of humanity, power inequities, ethics, rights and responsibilities that are bound up with archival activities. The book serves to illustrate the complexity of the contemporary archival world as it becomes increasingly “glocal” and “community-oriented,” and to demonstrate that this complexity cannot simply be reduced to technological considerations. It also provides accessible exemplars of that complexity, as well as the narratives and kinds of discourse and the archival considerations that arise, and the ways in which these lead us to contemplate, and potentially require the archival field nationally and globally to reframe, long-standing archival ideas.