‘These are not just pieces of paper’: Acknowledging grief and other emotions in pursuit of person-centered archives
This article reports on findings of a series of interviews conducted with 27 archivists on the topic of grief and other emotions in archival work. Centering the words of the interviewed archivists and demonstrating a research ethic of deep listening, this article describes how the interviewed archivists encounter and experience grief and other emotions as part of working with records, researchers, and donors. Interview participants highlighted a lack of preparation for the emotional dimensions of archival work as well as difficulty and damaging silences surrounding emotions in the archival work. This article argues that a first step toward transformative change in the way archival education programs and workplaces address the emotional dimensions of archival work requires sincere and committed acknowledgment of these dimensions and of archival work as person-centered and relational.
Copyright (c) 2022 Jennifer Douglas, Alexandra Alisauskas, Elizabeth Bassett , Noah Duranseaud , Ted Lee, Christina Mantey
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