Language(s) of presentations:
This session takes a closer look at basic principles and assumptions at the core of the archival profession that often go unquestioned by examining circumstances where these assumptions are stretched to their limits. Two papers will draw from proceedings of repatriation negotiations between the National Archives of the Netherlands Antilles and the island communities and one paper will draw from the use of archives in boundary disputes to discuss how theoretical principles of respect du fonds and provenance and basic assumptions about open archival access and can be rethought and implemented in unforeseen circumstances.
Archivists dealing with legal disputes, political changes, repatriation claims. Archivists working in situations that test the limits of professional principles and assumptions that are otherwise taken for granted. Archivists interested in new directions in archival theory, especially with regards to adaptation to emerging societal trends of the 21st century. Archivists interested in the role of archival theory in defining the archival profession.
Overall purpose and significance of session:
Participants of this session will be thinking through concrete cases that put to the test otherwise unquestioned assumptions about the very nature of archives and exploring the possibilities of adapting and re-inventing traditional archival principles in circumstances that interrupt business as usual and call for novel solutions. With this exercise, this session hopes to open up debate on the role of theoretical archival principles in defining the archival profession and provide new directions as to how theoretical archival principles can be rethought in order to suit the needs of 21st century communities.