Report: Understanding the international landscape of trauma and archives

The ICA is delighted to present the report on Understanding the Landscape of Trauma and Archives, based on a survey conducted in 2022 by Nicola Laurent and Kirsten Wright, in partnership with the Section for Education and Training (SAE). The report introduces the background to the survey and the topics it covers, information about the survey design and dissemination, before presenting an initial analysis of the results, and recommendations for training and education.  

Laurent and Wright note, "In recent years there has been growing awareness and understanding about issues of trauma experienced both by archives users and archives workers (…) By better understanding the role of trauma in records and archives, we can build capacity to move to a trauma-informed approach to support a more diverse and inclusive profession for those wanting to work within, and engage with, archives.”  

The analysis of the survey showed that issues of archives and trauma are serious ones for the profession, and many people reported experiencing distress or trauma in an archive setting. The report recommends that "all in the archival profession need to be aware of the potential for trauma and archives". 

The report is available in English, French, and Spanish.  

About this Project 

The Understanding the landscape of trauma and archives project undertook an international survey to raise awareness of, and better understand, the issues archivists face regarding trauma; gauge current understandings of these issues; and asked what training, education and resources are needed. 

It was supported by the International Council on Archives (ICA) through the Programme Commission.  

More information? 

If you have questions about this initiative, please contact the researchers: Nicola Laurent or Kirsten Wright