addressing diversity in archival collections with outreach

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Slides for the "Addressing Diversity in Archival Collections with Outreach" presentation, given on December 2, 2009, at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville


  • 1.Addressing Diversity in
    Archival Collections
    with Outreach
    Rabia Gibbs
    December 2, 2009

2. Changing U.S. Demographics
LIS Diversity Demographics

  • 11% credentialed librarians**

3. 16% uncredentialed librarians ** 4. 13% academic librarians** 5. 7% professional archivists* 6. 25% of population non-white* 7. 37% of kindergartners ethnically diverse** Victoria Irons Walch, A*CENSUS: A Closer Look, American Archivist 69, no. 2 (2006): 314, 396.
**Denise Davis, Diversity Counts (presentation, ALA Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, June 24, 2007).
8. Impact on Archival

  • Redundant points of view and

approach to the practice

  • Lack of representation in

archival and special collections

  • Marginalization of

underrepresented groups

  • Cyclical pattern of lack of

professional diversity
9. Historical Origins of theModern Archival Method
Theodore R. Schellenberg
Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques
More aggressive appraisal style
Selection in response to volume, not diversity
Subjective determination of secondary value for research and publication
Sir Hilary Jenkinson
Manual of Archive Administration

  • Reliance on the record as


  • Archival records inherently

impartial and authentic*

  • Archivists primary role to

document, not interpret; maintain
impartiality of the record
* Reto Tschan, A Comparison of Jenkinson and Schellenberg on Appraisal, American Archivist 65, no. 2 (2002): 176-195.
10. Power of the Archives

  • Reject passive archivist identity

11. Recognize power of the archivist and extendedinfluence 12. Reassess validity and completeness of collections 13. Consider long-term cultural impact 14. Make collections more representative (of, not about)


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