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Who Do Archives Think They Are? The Value of Archival Heritage

Monday 11 November 2019, 5.00PM

Speaker(s): Victoria Hoyle (York)

Over the past 20 years the central principles of archival practice, which underpin our understanding of what archives are and do in society, have been disrupted by a renaissance of critical thinking. Ideas about authority, evidentiality and impartiality that have shaped archival institutions and collections in the global North since the nineteenth century no longer appear to reflect the values and needs of researchers or archivists; and radical approaches to archival work which address neoliberalism, racism, patriarchy, the legacies of colonialism and migration have seen the reevaluation of archival heritage.  However, at the same time, established practices have proved robust in the face of challenge and institutional responses to shifting values have been limited.  This talk will explore the social and cultural origins of ideas about archives, and consider the implications of the remaking of archival values for heritage and history practices.  If values no longer align to established principles, but established principles are central to our definition of the archive, what does the future of archival work look like?

Victoria Hoyle is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of History and an editor of the Archives and Records journal. Her PhD (York, 2018) explored the social, cultural and emotional values ascribed to archival heritage by institutions, practitioners and communities, bringing together approaches from history, critical heritage studies and archival studies. She is a qualified archivist and was formerly York City Archivist (2013-2017).


Location: Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

Admission: Free to attend, all are welcome