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The archival multiverse and community archiving are definitely important, as is giving more communities control over their records. And I'll surely include this in my newsletter, especially since I read some works by Michelle Caswell while in library school, and took a class with Ricky Punzalan (he's no longer there, but is at another university now) on archival appraisal.

However, I take issue with the statement at the beginning of this post: "When most people think of an archive, they think of rows of dusty boxes in governmental buildings, usually holding municipal records. It’s something that’s inaccessible to the public." While this description is correct, it is important to remember that these beliefs about archives are caused by cultural depictions of archives (and archivists), which show archives as dusty places within basements or with cobwebs. Furthermore, those beliefs are not rooted in reality. In terms of records being inaccessible, I'd say it depends on what is being accessed, whether it is classified (that's what I index for my job), falling apart, etc. It makes sense, in those settings, for an archivist to be pulling records for a researcher in response to a slip you fill out in-person or online, rather than researchers going inside the stacks themselves, as that could raise liability or security concerns about the records.

Furthermore, the code of ethics (and core values) of the profession, as stated by the SAA, say that accessibility is one of the guiding principles of archives. If the archives (or archivists) aren't assisting their patrons, then surely they are violating those principles. Of course, there is nothing bounding archives from following these principles, and the principles themselves have their limitations and exclusions, as they are mainly tailored toward institutional archives.

In sum, I wish there was more context in this post about this, as there have been efforts, from what I've read, within institutional archives to make "the archival process more communal, accessible, and most importantly, equitable", although not the same way as this post notes. Even so, more work, obviously, needs to be done, as most records still reside within institutional archives, and it seems like NARA has made some strides in that direction. And, community archives surely provide a different model which can buck the usual (and typical?) and institutional model of archives, possibly even pushing institutional archives to change for the better.

Otherwise, the description of digitization and how it connects feminist ethics of care was interesting, reminding me a bit of what I read about in graduate school. So, I'd love to read more about that. I do think that having a good end product from digitization is important, though, as I've seen some institutional archives digitize documents, but either the copy is bad or the file takes so long to load that it is inaccessible. In the end, I'm glad I read this post, and am interested on learning more about this project.

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