Article: Archival Temples, Archival Prisons: Modes of Power and Protection

What an interesting article our professor recommended about the power of archives.  It’s called Archival Temples, Archival Prisons: Modes of Power and Protection

http://home.hccnet.nl/e.ketelaar/ArchivalTemples.pdf

The article discusses archival history, oppression through records, governmental power, control, human rights, and even has a story about Star Wars!

The part of the article that really caught my attention was when governmental power over documents and when to possibly destroy documents or whether to keep them.

“Records in our surveillance society reveal as much about the administering as about the administered. That is why it is so difficult to keep the right balance between, on the one hand, the requirement to destroy personal data when they have served their primary purpose, including that of serving the legal rights of the data subjects, and, on the other hand, the possibility that the files might get a new meaning and purpose in the future.”

Where do you think the line is between destroying records versus saving them in hopes they may have “a new meaning and purpose in the future?”  Do you think it depends on space availability, laws, privacy, or something else?

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