Person Centered Description for Private Records: Practitioner Workshop
ACA Professional Development Workshop
In this workshop, participants will explore ideas around person-centred descriptive practices for private records and develop questions and considerations they can use to apply person-centred descriptive practices in their home archives.
In the first half of the workshop, facilitators will provide a grounding of what being person-centred means in the context of archival description, what parts of description it could impact, and what the practice of this type of description may look like for both new acquisitions and retrospective description. Facilitators will contextualise the idea of person-centred description as a means for creating a sense of inclusion for researchers through explicit, creator-reported representation. Facilitators will provide examples of how archives have documented these ideas in their practices, through tools such as style guides, and gather additional anecdotal examples to offer participants. The workshop will also explore ideas of how and by whom person-centred descriptions can be written, recognising the importance of experiential, lived knowledges, limitations of sole authorship, and benefits of deeper engagement with donors. Throughout this first half, discussion of ideas and practitioner experiences will be encouraged.
In the second half of the workshop, participants will engage in an activity to use the presented guiding principles to develop a list of questions and considerations for building person-centred descriptive practices, as well as mechanisms to enable person-centred descriptive practices in their home archives. Participants will go home with a handout of citations of current literature exploring these ideas and existing style guides that can be used for inspiration.
By the end of this workshop, participants should:
1. Be able to define person-centred archival description
2. Understand the value of a person-centred approach to archival description
3. Have an understanding of considerations for enacting person-centred description
Krista Jamieson (she/they) is a queer archivist and PhD Candidate based in Hamilton, Ontario. Krista's work centers around digital archiving, digital preservation, archival selection, and metadata (including, but not limited to description).
Daniela Ansovini (she/her) is an Archivist with the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services (UTARMS) where she is responsible for the private records of individuals and organizations affiliated with the University of Toronto. She has worked in a number of academic, community and arts organizations with interests that include donor relationships, oral history, archival appraisal, and memory work.
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