One of the topics that stuck out to me this week was the issue of archival silences. Archival silence is characterized by a particular voice in history being “removed” from archives, typically by way of destruction or prevention. Usually, these voices were people of marginalized groups. Because of this archival silence, much of history is missing a side to the story. Though history cannot be reversed, what can be done to account for this disparity? Can we, as observers of history, infer what these voices may have thought? And what can be done to ensure that the future holds these voices in the archives? Is there a model that can be created to ensure inclusion? Either way, the topic of archival silences has made me think a lot in retrospect this week, to all of the history I’ve learned. It is both sad and interesting to consider how curriculum would be different if their voices were preserved, and how certain issues would potentially be drastically different. I think, when taking courses that involve history in the future, I will do much more consideration of what is not included.

Shared By: Lanie Angelo
Image Source: Princeton Humanities Council
Image Alt Text: Library archives