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.
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.