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The Future Librarian
Anything and everything about new trends in librarianship and learning through libraries.
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Should a legal right to "archival privilege" be established?

Should a legal right to "archival privilege" be established? | The Future Librarian | Scoop.it

Do U.S. courts currently recognize an absolute or almost absolute legal right to confidentiality for scholars or archivists? And if they do not recognize such a right, should they?

 

Some archivists believe that a legal right of archival privilege is needed. Their justification is that if society wants donors to give honest, unaltered records regarding controversial subjects for eventual historical use, archivists need a mechanism to ensure confidentiality.  It asserts, in effect, that the needs of future research always transcend the societal needs of the present.

 

The claim of an absolute right to honor and protect donor-imposed restrictions creates an absolute obligation with difficult ethical implications.  Before arguing before a court that a legal right to archival privilege exists, SAA would need to determine whether there is consensus within the profession, how that consensus might be balanced against competing legal and ethical demands, and what the appropriate processes would be for resolving differences of opinion.

 

Although the Supreme Court may take up the case, for the time being the honest answer to a potential donor is that in most, if not all, instances, an archives would be required to surrender material subpoenaed by a court.

 

 

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Dual Archivist/Librarians: Balancing the Benefits and Challenges of Diverse Responsibilities

Dual Archivist/Librarians: Balancing the Benefits and Challenges of Diverse Responsibilities | The Future Librarian | Scoop.it

While much has been written about the evolving nature of archivists’ roles, virtually nothing has
been published in the archives or library literature about information professionals with both library and archives duties.

 

This survey-based article examines the contemporary roles and responsibilities of college and university archivists, and outlines both benefits and challenges identified to having non-archival responsibilities, specifically library responsibilities.

 

How then to balance the benefits and challenges evidenced in this study? With academic archivists pulled in so many directions, one has to wonder to what extent their archival work is being jeopardized, and what part of our cultural record will be lost as a result.

 

To download the article in full: http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/2011/06/10/crl-222.full.pdf+html

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Nota Bene: If You 'Discover' Something in an Archive, It's Not a Discovery

Nota Bene: If You 'Discover' Something in an Archive, It's Not a Discovery | The Future Librarian | Scoop.it

"It's important to remember...that in most cases what's termed an archival 'discovery' was possible only because of the years or decades of effort a repository invested in arranging, describing, preserving, and providing access to the materials in its care."

 

More here: 

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/06/nota-bene-if-you-discover-something-in-an-archive-its-not-a-discovery/258538/

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