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Archives Matter: Three Nights on the Archives

Submitted on Friday, August 30, 2019
Laura Millar

Starting on Monday, September 16, the Faculty of Information will host visits from three top archivists over the course of three nights. The discussions will align with the archivists’ areas of expertise. The distinguished visitors are:

Jarrett M. Drake is currently a PhD student in anthropology at Harvard University, where he engages in a variety of archival, educational, and organizing projects that pertain to prison abolition. He also facilitates workshops with grassroots organizations around topics of transformative justice, liberatory memory work, and digital archives.

Prior to Harvard, Drake was the Digital Archivist at Princeton University as well as an advisory archivist for A People’s Archives of Police Violence in Cleveland. During his time at Princeton, he volunteered as an instructor in the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) Consortium through the Princeton Prison Teaching Initiative, teaching preparatory and introductory college composition. 

Drake earned an M.S. in Information Science from the University of Michigan and B.A. in History from Yale University. He was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, where he graduated from Benjamin Banneker Achievement Center.

Laura Millar, archivist, writer and editor – whose latest book, A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age, was published in July – is passionate about evidence, archives and memory.

Described as an “urgent manifesto” and “an eye-opening treatise for the general public,” her new book makes the case that authentic and accurate evidence is crucial in supporting and fostering a society that is respectful, democratic, and self-aware. Also an invaluable resource for archives students, the book explains the concept of evidence and discusses the ways in which records, archives, and data are not just useful tools for our daily existence but also essential sources of evidence both today and in the future.

Verne Harris heads the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s leadership and knowledge development processes. He was Mandela’s archivist from 2004 to 2013, directed the Foundation’s archives program for 15 years and the dialogue and advocacy program for five years. He is an adjunct professor at Nelson Mandela University and an honorary research fellow with the University of Cape Town.

He participated in a range of structures which transformed South Africa’s apartheid archival landscape, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and is a former Deputy Director of the National Archives. He has authored or co-authored five books, but is probably best-known for leading the editorial team on the best-seller, Nelson Mandela: Conversations with Myself.

Link to Agenda and Registration.

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