Title: Understanding the international landscape of trauma and archives
Authors: Nicola Laurent and Kirsten Wright
Date: February 2023
Why have we selected it?
This project was supported by the International Council on Archives (ICA) through the Programme Commission and was completed in partnership with the ICA Section for Archival Education and Training (SAE). It has recently been published, so we chose to highlight it this month.
What will you find in this resource?
The report presents an initial analysis of the data received from an international survey asking for archivists’ understanding and experiences of trauma and archives. The Understanding the landscape of trauma and archives survey was conducted in English, French and Spanish in 2022.
The researchers hope that this research project will provide an international view of the current issues of archives and trauma; and provide some statistical evidence for what has previously mostly been anecdotal only. It will help us understand how wide-spread experiences of trauma are, what support is currently available, and what support people would like. It will also allow us to consider what resources, training and education are needed, and to determine whether this is a global challenge, or specific to certain regions, cultures or communities. This is so that support can be provided to build a more diverse and inclusive profession for those wanting to work within, and engage with, archives.
The survey consisted of 43 questions. It received 1138 valid responses from 100 countries, with respondents coming from a diversity range of career experiences, locations and backgrounds. It was directed towards people who work, study, or volunteer in the archival profession or related fields, and asked them to reflect on their experiences with users of the archives.
Three recommendations have been developed for consideration for the SAE, to respond to the survey results from an education and training perspective. The recommendations sit under the underlying principle that all in the archival profession need to be aware of the potential for trauma in archives. The survey, and the recommendations it has generated, is rooted in a concept of trauma-informed practice and the associated five principles of safety – trust and transparency, choice, collaboration, and empowerment.
Discover the resource here