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As a Matter of Fact: Convincing the World That Archives Matter | March 25, 2021

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A panel discussion exploring themes in Laura Millar's book, A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age, the 2021 selection for the One Book, One Profession reading initiative sponsored by the Publications Board of the Society of American Archivists. Millar makes the case that records, archives, data, and other sources of documentary proof are crucial in fostering a society that is respectful, inclusive, democratic, and self-aware. Events in the past year alone—such as the COVID-19 pandemic, protests driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, and the January 6 insurrection on the US Capitol—illustrate the urgent need for authentic and accessible sources of evidence, from medical statistics to live videos to Twitter messages and Facebook posts. A truer, more inclusive documentary record demands new strategies and different approaches.

The panelists include Laura Millar (author and independent consultant in records, archives, and information management), Valencia L. Johnson (archivist for Student Life at Princeton University), Geoffrey Yeo (Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Information Studies at University College London), SAA Fellow Louis Jones (field archivist for the Walter P. Reuther Library), and SAA Publications Editor Stacie Williams (Archives and Special Collections Division Chief at the Chicago Public Library).

Tune in to learn why archives matter today, and how we can—and must—convince the world of their value!