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Our colleagues in Global Studies sat down with RBML archivists Chris Laico to discuss archives and his daily work with the Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research.

I view my work as similar to an eternal graduate student, in a good way. I learn something every day. There is a fundamental need to understand the context of an archival collection in order to do it justice, and be able to process it as neutrally and as efficiently as possible.

judge with gavel that spews flowers

I focus on the power of archives to tell a story, to not allow someone in a power position to say: “this did not happen”.

Most archives, or I should say, most processing of archives, support a human right, a right of representation, of having, a voice, a perspective, a community inscribed in history. This is especially true for minorities, or under-represented groups. It is the politics of representation, of what and who creates a canon, a narrative, of who gets heard and who has a seat at the table. Now that’s an interesting question.

Read the entire interview here.