CfP: Questions of trust? Archives, records and identities

UK Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research (FARMER)

In association with

Network of Archival Educators and Trainers (North Western Europe)


“Questions of trust? Archives, records and identities”

An international conference, Wolfson College, Oxford, UK

July 5-6th 2010

Call for Papers

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the digital world is ever more the place in which many of our lives are lived and recorded. The transition to this new world and new way of working has brought many new questions for all those interested in archives and records, as well as reformulating and suggesting re-imagining many traditional ones. Chief amongst these questions are those which relate to trust (of records, of governments and organisations, of systems) and to identity/identities and the way in which archives and records might support the construction, articulation and demonstration of those identities. In recent years there has been a growing recognition of the political nature of archives and records, and of archives and records management. Questions of trust and identity sit at the heart of these political concerns and processes. This conference will consider the implications of these questions for professional education, research and practice.

The conference will bring together an international group of those active in archives and records management education and research, as well as interested practitioners. Moreover the conference sets out to be actively transdisciplinary in its outlook and will encourage contributions from many related and relevant disciplines including library and information science, museology, cultural heritage, history, anthropology, public policy and governance, business management, information systems development and design, etc.

Conference Themes

Amongst the themes contributors might wish to consider are:

· Can records and archives be trusted? What might ‘trust’ mean in this context? Are there archives, information and records management systems which can ensure the ‘trustworthiness’ of archives and records? How does trust relate to authenticity, integrity, completeness or other (supposed) qualities of archives and records?

· Does (or how might) access to archives and records, particularly in a digital world, support levels of trust in governments, commercial organisations, communities, etc?

· Are the present crises of confidence and public trust in major governmental and financial institutions mitigated or made worse by legislation specifying public access to information?

· Many claims are made about the different ways in which communities and shared identifications are constructed around (upon) histories, heritages and archives. How are these identities constructed and shared and how do these processes engage with records, archives, and other heritage materials? What role is played in the construction of collective and community memories by the question of ‘trust’ in these heritage materials, and in the authority of those who hold them?

· What are the implications, including questions of trust and identity for virtual communities forming around, sharing and engaging with heritage materials online when social and participatory technologies are used?

· What does the concept of identity mean within digital and virtual environments? What are the implications for the security and trustworthiness of records in this context?

Papers and session proposals:

The organisers hope that many of the papers from the conference will be published in an international journal and are in negotiation with publishers and editors about this. Further details will follow in due course. The language of the conference will be English.

The conference organisers encourage proposals for individual papers as well as for panels. Paper submissions should include a short abstract (300-500 words) plus a brief CV and contact details for the proposer. Panel submissions (maximum of 3 speakers plus chair) should include a brief overview of the theme of the panel, short abstracts (300-500 words) for each of the proposed papers, and a brief CV and contact details for each of the chair and panel members.

A conference website will established shortly but meanwhile further information can be found at

Important dates:

Please submit individual paper or panel proposals via email (with ‘FARMER Conference Proposal’ in the subject line) by 30 September 2009 to Proposals will reviewed by the organising committee with final decisions being made before the end of the year.

In order to better facilitate discussion and exchange at the conference, papers will be made available to delegates in advance. Participants will therefore be asked to agree to submit a full version of their paper by 31 May 2010.

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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