We present the Agenda for our Annual Symposium! Look in depth at the agenda and the abstracts of the talks below and see how to book your space.
First Session: Citizens in Archives Workshop
When Does Recorded Memory Become Oral History? – An exploration of the shoebox by Tomás Mac Conmara
5 min break
Digitally Unlocking Nature’s Archive (DUNA) by Ceri Humphries and Lisa Cardy
5 min break
Increasing participation through Towards a National Collection by Rebecca Bailey
5 min break
3rd November 2021
From: 5 pm (UK) – 6 pm (EU) – 1 pm (New York, USA) – 10 am (Los Angeles, USA)
To: 7:30 pm (UK) – 8:30 pm (EU) – 3:30 pm (NY) – 12:30 pm (LA)
Tomás Mac Conmara, Director, Cork Folklore Project
When Does Recorded Memory Become Oral History? – An exploration of the shoebox
While leading Mac Conmara Heritage Consulting, Dr Tomás Mac Conmara has undertaken the first countywide audits of oral heritage collections across an entire county in Ireland. So far, he has identified thousands of items in counties Donegal, Kilkenny, and Cork. In addition, his work in oral history has brought him into contact with collectors of all kinds from the community group to the sole operator, quietly collecting memory for decades. The classification of the legacy and born-digital material under his gaze as a heritage professional has always interested him, knowing as he does that significant heritage and historical information is contained within those collections of recorded memory. That they may have been generated outside of what would now be considered an oral history process brings into sharp focus the nature of his lecture ‘When Does Recorded Memory Become Oral History?’ The presentation will showcase examples from the multiple bodies of memory the presenter has engaged with and underline some of the ethical issues, both for the use of material outside of an informed process, and the potential loss to oral historiography for their exclusion from our research.
Ceri Humphries, Digitally Unlocking Nature’s Archive, UK Natural History Museum and Lisa Cardy, Interim Head of Library and Archives at UK Natural History Museum
Digitally Unlocking Nature’s Archive (DUNA)
Crowdsourcing, citizen science, and online volunteer projects are now established methods of generating and/or enhancing research outputs. Studies indicate that machine-readable transcriptions of handwritten historical documents can be generated both efficiently and economically via well-planned and managed crowdsourcing projects. The Natural History Museum’s Library and Archives are home to a rich and significant collection of unique manuscripts and hand-annotated original drawings. These handwritten collections contain a wealth of scientific, historical, and social research data and information that until now has remained digitally inaccessible. Digitally Unlocking Nature’s Archive (DUNA) has been developed to enable us to harness the power and interest of ‘the crowd’ to help make our collections digitally discoverable, accessible, and open to all.
Rebecca Bailey, Programme Director, Towards a National Collection, UK Arts & Research Council
Increasing participation through Towards a National Collection
At the centre of the £18.9m research development programme, Towards a National Collection aims to increase engagement with the cultural heritage collections of the UK. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the programme is working to link collections and encourage cross-searching of multiple collection types, to enable research and enhance public engagement. This presentation will outline the different ways that citizens can participate in the research and influence the development of a future national collections research infrastructure.
Second Session: Writing Cultural Wrongs. Decolonisation and Restitution in Cultural Institutions Workshop
Encountering the Danish colonial archives by Dr Daniela Agostinho
5 min Break
Decolonising the LSHTM Archives by Victoria Cranna
5 min Break
‘A museum will not be our mausoleum’: the role of participatory video and self-representation in decolonising museums by Grace Hutchison
5 min Break
10th November 2021
From: 5 pm (UK) – 6 pm (EU) – 12 pm (New York, USA) – 9 am (Los Angeles, USA)
To: 7:30 pm (UK) – 8:30 pm (EU) – 2:30 pm (NY) – 11:30 am (LA)
Dr Daniela Agostinho, Assistant Professor at Aarhus University, Department of Digital Design & Information Studies
Encountering the Danish colonial archives
The talk draws on the research and curatorial project Archival Encounters, which was spurred on by the digitization of the archives documenting Danish colonial rule in the former Danish West Indies, today the United States Virgin Islands. Ever since Denmark sold these islands to the United States in 1917, a substantial part of their archived history has been stored in Denmark, far removed from its source communities. A variety of archival collections became digitally accessible in 2017, at a moment of centennial commemoration that brought to light painful histories and enduring colonial erasures. The talk will reflect on the role of artistic research and curatorial work in critically revisiting these archival records and in problematising broader discussions around colonial heritage, digitisation, and decolonisation.
Victoria Cranna, Archivist & Records Manager at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Decolonising the LSHTM Archives
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement and LSHTM’s Decolonising Global Health work, the LSHTM Archives Service has begun to re-examine the way we work, the stories we tell, and the role we can play in promoting different versions of history. Archives can provide information, insight, and inspiration; they can also reflect and reproduce racism, inequality, and imbalances of power. This presentation will discuss our approach to decolonising the archives and the role and value of the archives for critical engagement with LSHTM’s colonial past and present.
Grace Hutchison, Program Development Officer at InsightShare
‘A museum will not be our mausoleum’: the role of participatory video and self-representation in decolonising museums
We consider museums as sites of representation, memory, and identity; now we are questioning whose. This talk unpacks how ethnographic museums perpetuate colonial narratives, which continue to oppress Indigenous Peoples, and manifest colonial power relations through their practices and exhibitions. Decolonising these institutions requires us to expose these colonial subjectivities, deconstruct their paradigms, and re-present histories, Peoples, and objects from the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples. Central, then, to this process is the self-representation of Indigenous Peoples.
Using the Living Cultures project as a case study, I will explore how participatory video is being harnessed by Indigenous Peoples to re-present their living cultures, facilitate community engagement with British museums, and moreover provide a means of knowledge production that destabilises the knowledge hierarchies established through colonial mechanisms of epistemicide and sustained through our cultural and educational institutions.
Agenda 3rd Symposium Archivoz
We hope to see you there!!