Educational Session VII

Saturday, May 23 - 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Aircraft Dope! A Cautionary Tale About a Con Man and His Fraudulent Preservation Practices

In the late 1940s, just after World War II had ended, the Texas General Land Office was approached by a man who had a new way to preserve and restore documents. His name was Harry G. Jander and he was hired as a conservator to stabilize county maps and other documents that were at risk. In the five years that followed, Mr. Jander took advantage of the ignorance at the GLO to confidently practice unsound preservation methods on the agency’s historical records. Jander is an ideal example of the type of person moral philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt describes in his short monograph, “On Bullshit.”

Not Just the Loudest Voice in the Room: Case Studies in Oral History

Oral history initiatives are currently back in vogue as institutions diversify their holdings such that they are more reflective of their actual stakeholders. This form of documentation first became popular in the latter half of the twentieth century—around the same time that Howard Zinn issued his famous call for archivists to become “activist-archivists.” To avoid reinventing the wheel in our own outreach activities, now, in 2020, it’s important to examine what has been done in the past, discussing our observations and ideas for how to adapt and improve upon past methods in our current, postmodern, post-custodial era of practice. The speakers on this panel have performed case studies about the oral histories already housed in their archives. Our discussion will emphasize how we can plan collecting strategies that will diversify our holdings while also promoting active collaboration and relationship-building with the communities from whom we are seeking to collect.

OMG! Why Do You Have That?”: Challenges in Controversial Collections

Every museum, archive, library, and cultural heritage institution contains challenging, and often questionable, content in their holdings. The ways in which we envision public access to this content may vary from repository to repository, and even from individual situation to situation. These panelists will discuss sensitive and controversial collections, how cultural institutions and researchers work with them, and how access is provided. Major themes will include race, religion, gender, privacy, cultural diversity, and sensitivity. Topics will include acquisition, access, and use of these collections.