Authenticity in places of belonging: community collective memory as a complex, adaptive recordkeeping system
As archivists, we aim to preserve community records for the future, putting them in boxes in secure repositories to save them from the damaging effects of everyday wear and tear. However, recent research shows a community itself acts as a complex, adaptive recordkeeping system that maintains records through networks that include personal relationships, cultural practices, stories, embodied knowledge, repeated events and special places. Removing records from communities without taking these elements into account assumes our recordkeeping methods are superior to the community’s existing systems, constructs barriers between the community and its records, and removes much of the records’ context.
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