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Title:More than acid-free folders: Extending the concept of preservation to include the stewardship of unexplored histories
Author(s):Sheffield, Rebecka T.
Subject(s):Librarianship--Core Values
Librarianship--Theory and Practice
Library Profession
Abstract:Recognized among the American Library Association’s “Core Values of Librarianship” (2004), Preservation is traditionally used to describe the passive protection of cultural property to ensure that it survives in its original form for as long as possible. A renewed professional imperative to position information centers as locations for social justice work has also turned our attention to the need to preserve materials that support a diverse and pluralistic society. Social justice work underscores the evidential value of materials in our care, as collections are accessed for the purposes of furthering court cases, reparative justice, and redress, and also the importance of building reflexive collections that better represent the diversity of contemporary society. This paper revisits our understanding of preservation and addresses the importance of actively preserving cultural property as part of social justice work. Through a short discussion about the recovery of LGBTQ+ histories, information professionals are pushed to reconsider our concept of preservation as something more than placing records into acid-free folders or migrating data to stave off obsolescence, but as a duty to steward unexplored histories.
Issue Date:2016
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 64 (3) Winter 2016: 572–584.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright (2016) Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-07

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