• Please Stop Calling Things Archives: An Archivist's Plea

    by B.M. Watson

    "As many historians currently use the word “archives,” they seem to imply that an archive is the natural state in which primary sources arrange themselves after being discarded or left by their creators."

  • Democracy, History and the Presidential Records Act

    by James Grossman and Richard Immerman

    It's time to update the Presidential Records Act to clarify the kinds of materials that must be preserved and create real penalties for destroying them. 

  • Working With Death: The Experience of Feeling in the Archive

    by Ruth Lawlor

    A researcher of sexual assault against women by American troops in World War II confronted the problem that the archive captures only a traumatic event and leaves the human being affected in the shadows. 

  • How Spencer McBride Does History

    History Phd Spencer McBride describes his work on the Joseph Smith Papers project, which poses unexpected challenges to learn about the world of the LDS founder. 

  • Reckoning With Slavery: What A Revolt’s Archives Tell Us About Who Owns The Past

    by Marjoleine Kars

    Researching the history of the 1763-1764 Berbice slave rebellion demonstrated that key records for understanding slavery in the Americas are held in archives in Europe and written in the language of colonial powers, making the history of enslaved people difficult to access for their present-day descendants.

  • The Struggle to Document COVID-19 for Future Generations

    by Pamela Ballinger

    Images of suffering have been powerful spurs to humanitarian action in history, but the process has the potential to reinforce messages of fault, blame, and separation. Assembling a visual archive of the age of COVID must avoid those traps to be useful in the future. 

  • Will Trump Burn the Evidence?

    by Jill Lepore

    Reckoning with the Trump adminstration's actions and assigning moral or criminal sanction to any misdeeds will probably be compromised by the destruction or failure to maintain presidential records. 

  • The Women Behind the Million Man March

    by Natalie Hopkinson

    Community archives such as the District of Columbia’s are critical interventions into the omissions of history. This one, like others, makes clear that behind every great feat in the public record lies an untold story of the unsung foot soldiers, architects, analysts and fixers — and these are often women.

  • Library of Congress Acquires Archives of the National Woman’s Party

    The preservation and archiving of the NWP's documents was complicated by the fact that its rival, the National American Woman Suffrage Association struck a deal with the Smithsonian forbidding the museum from including the NWP or Alice Paul in any exhibition on suffrage.