Seminar: Invisible Labor: Archives, Digital Scholarship, and Automation
Sponsored by QED Appraisal Group, LLC
Questions of labor are becoming more prevalent in archival literature, conferences, and social media, both as a means of elevating perceptions of the profession and supporting the tangible benefits to its laborers. Such questions include: How do we surface invisible labor? How do we effectively and equitably partner with faculty (and other partners) to undertake digital scholarship projects, teach with primary sources, and collaborate on research projects? How can we create equitable working conditions and communicate these to our stakeholders? And when do we draw and set boundaries to maintain our viability as a staff and not resort to resiliency as a strategy for survival?
This seminar will lead participants in critical conversation about these questions as we dig into archival labor in the digital age and in the neoliberal institution. Together we will explore the functional requirements of archives labor that face a myriad of outside challenges from precarity to racism, sexism, and classism in our profession. We will also engage with questions of our professional representation; both self-imposed and that which is ascribed to us by our user communities, donors, and administrative leaders. We will explore issues of representation, equity, and provide recommendations and a call to action for how special collections professionals can re-articulate their roles as project managers, practitioners, educators, scholars, and stewards to our unique collections.