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Archivists make it last longer!

Finally back from (and recovered from) SAA! A good time was had by all, many interesting presentations, and -- bonus! -- I was able to meet up with the very talented ennyousai ::waves:: Among other things, we compared notes on favorite books (yay Pride and Prejudice!!), the ending of Deathly Hallows, and Why We Love Fans. On her recommendation Spouse and I made a point of visiting the Folger Shakespeare Museum -- although we were disappointed not to see any costumes on show, their current exhibit (Lost at Sea: The Ocean in the English Imagination, 1550–1750) had some truly beautiful and unusual pieces, so we thank her sincerely!

The conference was here, which means we felt underdressed every time we left our room.

Most interesting session was this one, on archives and international justice. The first presenter outlined a project being undertaken to digitize all records from the UN genocide trials in Rwanda -- something like 500 terabytes of data, audio in three languages, redactions of audio/video to preserve anonymity of protected witnesses...the sheer scope is overwhelming. The second speaker gave a historical overview of archival evidence used in various cases; he touched briefly on Nuremberg but spent more time on some lesser-known cases like Klaus Barbie and Ivan Demjanjuk. A bit inspiring to think that your chosen field can actually support international justice. He ended by suggesting that perhaps archivists ought to be more active in this area -- for example, if someone wants something classified for political rather than security reasons, should we push back? Food for thought.

Our session went well (C-Span filmed us!) despite being at an ungodly early hour; on the plus side that freed up the rest of the day for Spouse and I to hit the National Zoo. Yay pandas! Yay komodo dragon!! Yay otters!!!

And of course we ate and ate and ate and ate.

I should be fully recovered by Friday, and possibly able to look at food again by Saturday.


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Aug. 19th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Isn't the Folger an amazing place? I love going there. It is my happy place. :)

And I'll be seeing you again in November in Harrisburg so that you can impart the secrets of the wacky world of EAD to me!
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