Archives and the Public Good: Accountability and Records in Modern Society

Archives and the Public Good: Accountability and Records in Modern Society

By: Richard J. Cox (editor), David A. Wallace (editor)Hardback

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This volume widens the perspective of the roles that records play in society. As opposed to most writings in the discipline of archives and records management which view records from cultural, historical, and economical efficiency dimensions, this volume highlights that one of the most salient features of records is the role they play as sources of accountability-a component that often brings them into daily headlines and into courtrooms. Struggles over control, access, preservation, destruction, authenticity, accuracy, and other issues demonstrate time and again that records are not mute observers and recordings of activity. Rather, they are frequently struggled over as objects of memory formation and erasure. The 14 powerful case studies focus around four closely related themes-explanation, secrecy, memory, and trust. They demonstrate how records compel, shape, distort, and recover social interactions across space and time. The diverse range of case studies includes the ownership of the Martin Luther King, Jr. papers, the destruction of records on Nazi war criminals in Canada, the politics of documents in the Iran-Contra affair, the failure of records management in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the publication of tobacco company documents on the World Wide Web, access to records associated with the U.S. government's infamous Tuskegee syphilis study, the role of the U.S. National Archives in identifying assets looted by the Nazis in the wake of the Holocaust, the destruction of public records by the South African government during apartheid's final years, the construction of foreign relations of the U.S. documentary histories, the forgery corrupting recordkeeping systems, and the collapse of foreign indigenous commercial banks.

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About Author

RICHARD J. COX is Professor in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences. He is the author of several books, including Managing Records as Evidence and Information (Quorum, 2001), Closing an Era: Historical Perspectives on Modern Archives and Records Management (2000), and Managing Institutional Archives (1992). He is also editor of the Records & Information Management Report. DAVID A. WALLACE is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information, University of Michigan.


Introduction by Richard J. Cox and David A. Wallace Explanation Archives on Trial: The Strange Case of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers by James M. O'Toole "A Monumental Blunder": The Destruction of Records on Nazi War Criminals in Canada by Terry Cook Information for Accountability Workshops: Their Role in Promoting Access to Information by Kimberly Barata, et al. Secrecy Implausible Deniability: The Politics of Documents in the Iran-Contra Affair and Its Investigations by David A. Wallace The Failure of Federal Records Management: The IRS Versus a Democratic Society by Shelley Davis Lighting Up the Internet: The Brown and Williamson Collection by Robin L. Chandler and Susan Storch Memory The Tuskegee Syphilis Study and the Politics of Memory by Tywanna Whorley Turning History into Justice: The National Archives and Records Administration and Holocaust-Era Assets, 1996-2001: An Archivist's Memoir by Greg Bradsher "They Should Have Destroyed More": The Destruction of Public Records by the South African State in the Final Years of Apartheid, 1990-1994 by Verne Harris Trying to Write "Comprehensive and Accurate" History of the Foreign Relations of the United States: An Archival Perspective by Anne Van Camp Trust What You Get Is Not What You See: Forgery and the Corruption of Recordkeeping Systems by David B. Gracy II The Jamaican Financial Crisis: Accounting for the Collapse of Jamaica's Indigenous Commercial Banks by Victoria L. Lemieux The Anchors of Community Trust and Academic Liberty: Our Documents Are Ourselves: A Lesson Renewed from the Fabrikant Affair by Barbara L. Craig Records and the Public Interest: The "Heiner Affair" in Queensland, Australia, by Chris Hurley Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/06/2002
  • ISBN13: 9781567204698
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 344
  • ID: 9781567204698
  • weight: 647
  • ISBN10: 1567204694

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