A short return to briefly subscribe to RECMGMT-L (hello, everyone)! I'm
looking for case studies by ARM educator-practitioners in a particular
context (below) and hope some of you can help. I'd like to stay and
contribute and learn. But I recognize my stay here as a participant may be
brief. So I'm providing context and a comprehensive update for friends I
made years ago among RECMGMT-L subscribers. This may be my only
opportunity to post here so please overlook the length.
By way of general introduction I'm an academically trained historian with
43 years years Federal experience working on assignments across the records
life cycle based on NARA training (bio info here
https://archivalexplorations.wordpress.com/about/ ). I blog at *Archival
Explorations* (a new blog) about change management, civic literacy, news
and information literacy, leadership, and connections between RM, archives,
These connections matter greatly, as AOTUS David S. Ferriero made clear at
a March 2017 conference I discussed in a recent blog post. David is a
Vietnam vet and I address that in the blog post, as well.
I'm here because of a recent news story which illustrated the challenges
reporters can face in assessing complex issues that require contextual
sophistication. (At best, they lack immersion in archives and records
And because I remember how a poster here astutely observed last year: "In a
lot of cases the question is not always clearly legal vs. illegal.
Unethical can be legal. Rules and laws can be bent without breaking. Many
people feel that they can do more good inside an organization that is
walking a fine legal or ethical line than they can from outside the system."
The context for my outreach here is stewardship by public employees as
expressed in this 2011 quote from a National Archives official. Tim Naftali
discussed ethics at a presentation to the National Archives Assembly (you
will see my name). Tim said
"I told you a story of how NARA in the 80s, highest levels (they’re all
retired now) made some really bad calls and hurt some peoples’ careers. I’m
proud to say that NARA of 2010-2011 never asked me to withhold any of this
evidence, at all. We are a different agency, we should be proud of that
difference. But you young archivists keep in mind that 20 years ago people
fought very hard to save materials and they didn’t have support....
Just do the right thing, always do the right thing. You work for the
American people, you work for the Constitution. The people upstairs change
but the Constitution—[it] may be amended—but it still never changes. . . .
This is one of the lessons we learned as we did our homework to collect the
I’m just very grateful to all my colleagues. . . and of course to my
friends that worked years before I was around.
So. People like Maarja, Bill Cunliffe, who did the right thing or tried to
do the right thing. And people in other parts of our agency–David Paynter.
These are heroes.. . . the heroes are the archivists who...protected
materials and that’s why we could do this exhibit. If it had not been for
the generation before ours, this exhibit would have been impossible."
In 2014, John H. Taylor, former Chief of Staff in retirement to President
Nixon said my archival team and I had "faithfully cared for and processed
the Nixon records while absorbing undeserved, politically inspired
criticism, including from those of us on the Nixon side." Taylor (now
Episcopal Bishop Coadjutor-Elect, Los Angeles) has apologized to me for
actions taken against us in 1992.
Public facing Listservs offer surprising opportunities, which is another
reason I'm reaching out to you. Before I met the Archivist, David Ferriero,
in person, he learned about me in 2010 when he subscribed to an archivists
Listserv. While I'm mostly connected now to expert practitioners and recent
retirees in the RM community on Twitter (@donlueders, @jessewilkins,
@ronlayel, @jkevinparker @randymoeller, @cherlymckinnon), a recent news
story reminded me that this might be a good place to ask for cases study
I'm specifically seeking stewardship-aware "how to balance competing
obligations" ethical case study links from educator-practitioners with
deep-immersion, lengthy experience with the Federal government. I'm not
looking for employer-sanctioned, vetted presentations, of course. I seek
more independent and hopefully candid, real life assessments of RIM
challenges, which is why I'm looking for case studies by
Thanks in advance!
Blog: Archival Explorations <https://archivalexplorations.wordpress.com/>
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