We often picture archives as rare documents and artifacts—precious and too often unseen collections that preserve our history. But increasingly, concerned citizens, as well as professionals, find themselves desperately grasping the present—tweets, websites, sounds, smells, blood, and bodies—before it vanishes or is furtively swept away. Archives expose past actions that buttress our current crises and hand us tools to dismantle barriers to justice.

In our symposium and linked events, practicing archivists, engaged scholars, and interdisciplinary artists will share projects from creating “data refuges” of climate data to mining corporate records for evidence of organized violence. Join us for three days of lectures, panels, film screenings, and exhibits.

Why the backpacks?
Read about why we chose the photo above, by Marc Tatti, to represent our symposium at “The Archeology of Ten Minutes Ago: Preserving the Artifacts of Border Crossing.”


Listen to the full audio of Trudy H. Peterson’s Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship Keynote Lecture, “Best When Used By: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”:


Watch William Pretzer’s Joel Barkan Memorial Keynote Lecture, “A Darker Presence: Interpretive Goals and Collecting Strategies in the National Museum of African American History and Culture”:


And check out Jacqueline Wernimont’s HASTAC blog post about the symposium!