Multiple Meanings of Participation and their Consequences to the Qualities and Outcomes of Archives

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Tue, 11/01/2016 - 15:44

Presentation at the From Dust to Dawn. Archival Studies After the Archival Turn conference in Uppsala, Sweden.


Recent archives related scholarship has put increasing focus on the benefits of a broader engagement of various stakeholder groups in creating, managing, organising and using both formal institutional and informal community archives. 'Participation' has been suggested to empower underrepresented communities, lead to an increased the quality of archival collections and description of archival records, and to make archives more usable, useful and relevant in the society. Based on earlier and on-going research on participatory archives, the aim of this presentation is to scrutinise how participation and related concepts are conceptualised in archives related literature in archival studies and beyond, and what consequences the different ways of understanding participation has on archival practices and archives, their fundamental qualities from authenticity and trustworthiness to impact, usefulness and representativeness, and consequently, to how archives function as sites and technologies of knowledge production.

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