Millar champions the value of evidence in new Archival Futures book

CHICAGO — The safeguarding of authentic facts is essential, especially in this disruptive Orwellian age, where digital technologies have opened the door to a post-truth world in which “alternative facts” can be so easily accepted as valid. And because facts matter, evidence matters. That’s the argument put forth by archives luminary Laura A. Millar in her new book, “A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age.” Her urgent manifesto, the first volume in the new Archival Futures series published jointly by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and ALA Neal-Schuman, makes the case that authentic and accurate records, archives, data, and other sources of documentary proof are crucial in supporting and fostering a society that is respectful, democratic, and self-aware. An eye-opening treatise for the general public, an invaluable resource for archives students, and a provocative call-to-arms for information and records professionals, Millar’s 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;
  • includes thought provoking examples that illustrate the critical role evidence plays in upholding rights, enforcing responsibilities, tracing family or community stories, and capturing and sharing memories; and
  • examines the impact of digital technologies on how records and information are created and used.

In Canada, the book is distributed exclusively through the Ontario Library Association.

Dr. Millar is an independent consultant and scholar in records, archives, and information management, who has also worked in publishing and distance education. She has consulted with governments, universities, colleges, professional associations, non-profit organizations, and other agencies around the world. Her work has ranged from advising the Government of Hong Kong on best practices in records and archives management to consulting with First Nations’ communities in the Canadian arctic on the preservation of indigenous sources of evidence. She was named the winner of the Society of American Archivists’ 2011 Waldo Gifford Leland Award for “Archives: Principles and Practices,” currently in its second edition. She is the author of dozens of publications and conference presentations, and she has taught records and archives management in several universities in Canada and internationally.

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) is North America’s oldest and largest national archival professional association. Archival Futures, a new book series published jointly by SAA and ALA Neal-Schuman, critically engages issues related to archives for the public good. Books in the series combine provocative arguments with practical insights, examining professional values and current innovations in archival and library practice.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or [email protected].

Originally published at https://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2019/07/millar-champions-value-evidence-new-archival-futures-book

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