Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

The impulse to create archives is rooted in the very human need to leave one's mark on the world. Whether through letters, diaries, reports, photographs, films, or a teenager's simple need to scrawl “I was here” on a subway wall, there's a deep desire in individuals to tell their stories, to be seen—literally and figuratively—in archives. With this desire also comes the need to ensure that archives are as diverse as the world we live in and to preserve the individuals and cultures that have been consciously or unconsciously underserved in the archives.

Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion, edited by Mary A. Caldera and Kathryn M. Neal, features ten essays that explore prominent themes related to diversity, including creating a diverse record, recruiting diversity to the profession and retaining a diverse workforce, and questioning the archive itself, on representation, authority, neutrality, objectivity, and power.

This book illustrates a multitude of perspectives and issues so that fresh voices can emerge alongside more familiar ones, and new concepts can be examined with new treatments of established ideas. Diversity is an ever-evolving concept; the term itself is increasingly rephrased as inclusion. By stimulating further ideas and conversation, we can come closer to a common understanding of what diversity and inclusion are or can be and, perhaps most importantly, how they may be realized in archives and the archival profession.

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Mary A. Caldera

Kathryn M. Neal

“These essays are meticulously cited, thought provoking, and sometimes achingly earnest . . . [they] will remind the reader that much discussion has happened within the Society of American Archivists about how to make the profession as a whole more inclusive and more representative of all societal facets, but that we have miles to go before we sleep.”
— Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists

Through the Archival Looking Glass is a much needed addition to the existing body of scholarly thought. It is much more than simply an overview of the current landscape and practice but offers up practical and realistic solutions . . . this collection of essays should be best viewed as a springboard which will hopefully inspire further original thought on what is still an emerging subject.”
— Archives and Records: The Journal of the Archives and Records Association