Archives Beyond the Pale: Negotiating Legal and Ethical Entanglements after the Belfast Project
76 American Archivist (2013)
31 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2013 Last revised: 28 Jan 2020
Date Written: March 20, 2013
With a subpoena in one hand and a donor agreement in the other, what choice should an ethical archivist make? Since the legal battle over the Belfast Project — an oral history collection of Northern Irish paramilitaries from the Troubles — at Boston College erupted in 2011, such a scenario has become a reality. Should archival collections be legally protected? Or is the idea of “archival privilege” something to be avoided? Regardless of the ultimate fate of the Belfast Project, the archival field will have to adapt to a new reality.
Keywords: Archival Privilege, Belfast Project, Oral History, Archives, Privilege
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