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Archival strategies documenting occasions and tales of the previous typically perpetuate the injustices and hurt performed to folks, relationships and communities. However, can archival strategies be modified to account for social change? For instance, would possibly Hawaiian archival collections be higher served by Hawaiian language descriptions? Could archives documenting the incarceration of Japanese Americans throughout World War II embrace most well-liked terminology advocated by present-day Japanese Americans? Exploring the solutions to these questions is the purpose for a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa skilled.

Library and Information Science (LIS) Program Assistant Professor Tonia Sutherland is the recipient of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’s Laura Bush twenty first Century Librarian award. Sutherland will obtain $357,536 over three years for her research proposal “Premised on Care: Redescription as Restorative Justice in American Archives.”

Sutherland will determine present—and make suggestions for future—skilled practices for culturally responsive decision-making about archival redescription. The research will contain asking questions corresponding to when and why redescription practices are engaged, what position improved entry on account of digitization performs in motivations for redescription, when and the way mass digitization leads to dangerous description at scale, and the way aggregation amplifies and legitimizes problematic description. Sutherland’s venture will tackle rising considerations which have arisen on the intersection of description and digitization, determine growing redescription practices that mannequin archival hurt discount and make suggestions for culturally responsive redescription in U.S. archives.

“I am excited to receive this award because I will be able to work closely with archivists and other memory workers to address the concerns of the communities they serve,” Sutherland mentioned. “Archives play an essential role in society and in our communities, and archival redescription is reparative work. It is reparations work: it works to repair harm, to heal past offenses, and to help us all move forward. It is the work of justice. This important research will help us envision how to train future memory workers in our Master of Library and Information Science program to mitigate against harm in their archival practices.”

Sutherland directs The Initiative for the Study of Underrepresented Cultures and Ethnicities (SOURCE) Hawaiʻi, a research and neighborhood engagement laboratory devoted to conducting essential research and neighborhood engagement tasks within the fields of data research, digital research, media research, and science and know-how research that target underrepresented cultures and ethnicities. Sutherland additionally directs the archives pathway within the LIS program, and chairs the LIS research committee.

More in regards to the award

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program awards are given in assist of early profession college who’ve the potential to function educational position fashions in research and training, and to lead advances within the mission of their division or group. The program helps the event of a various workforce of librarians and archivists so as to meet the data wants of their communities by enhancing the coaching {and professional} improvement of library and archives professionals; growing college and knowledge leaders; and recruiting, educating and retaining the subsequent technology of library and archives professionals.

This work is an instance of UH Mānoa’s purpose of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one in all 4 targets recognized within the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), up to date in December 2020.



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