The Middle Ages Through a Reparative Lens: Thinking About Underrepresented Voices in Pre-Modern Collections
About This Event
The library profession is becoming increasingly aware of the fact that archives and special collections are not neutral spaces, in which history is presented as “it was.” They exercise power by collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting objects in their care. With this awareness comes the moral responsibility to promote narratives of our global society that have previously been overlooked. How does a curator of pre-modern materials conduct reparative work on a small budget, with a short supply of materials on the (high-priced) market, with a limited expertise and with collecting trends that have contributed to advancing perceptions of the Middle Ages that are largely Eurocentric, elite, and predominantly male? The paper discusses strategies for inclusive teaching and outreach with examples from pre-modern collections at the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries.
This talk is part of the "Diversifying Collections" Series and Curatorial Studies Initiative and is also supported by the History Department of Hamilton College.