NEA taking the past into the future

Friday, October 26, 2018
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
Boston, MA

Program Description

We make ethical decisions in our work as archivists, especially towards preserving a fair and inclusive historical record and collective memory. These decisions help shape our professional ethics, and sharing these experiences improves our ethical context. The Fall 2018 Meeting will give archivists and allied professionals an opportunity to discuss archival ethics in three areas: appraisal and acquisitions, description, and access.  

schedule (subject to change)

8:00am - 9:00am Registration
Coffee will be provided. Beginning at 8am, food and additional bevarages can be purchased in the museum cafe.

9:00am - 9:15am Welcome and opening remarks

9:15am - 10:15am Presentations and discussion: Appraisal and Acquisition
  • Ethics in Collecting, Donor Relations, and Born-Digital Surprises
    Virginia Hunt, Harvard University Archives

  • Obligations and Expectations: Pushing Collections to the Front of the Queue
    Rosemary K.J. Davis,
    Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

  • Ethical Issues in Secondary Use of Oral Histories/Testimonies in Digital Humanities Projects

    Christy Tomecek, Fortunoff Video Archive, Yale University

10:15am - 10:45am Break
Coffee will be provided. Food and additional beverages can be purchased in the museum cafe.

10:45am - 11:45am Presentation and discussion: Description
  • Medical Information: Ethical Considerations for Processing and Description
    Jessica Sedgwick, Center for the History of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

  • When Circus Isn't Enough: Subject Headings and Descriptions for 19th-Century Popular Entertainment
    Betts Coup, Houghton Library, Harvard University

  • Skeletons in Your Closet: Heavy Small Collections
    Jennifer Bolmarcich, Archives & Special Collections, Amherst College

11:45am - 1:15pm

Lunchtime plenary address by the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Lunch and coffee will be provided: vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options will be available. Advance registration is strongly advised in order to guarantee a boxed lunch. Day-of-registrants will be provided with a voucher for use in the museum café.

1:15pm - 2:30pm Presentations and discussion: Access
  • Marjorie Lamb, Communist Hunter, Patriot, Activist: The Observed and Observers in a Cold War Archive
    Simon Patrick Rogers, John M. Kelly Library, University of Toronto

  • Towards Institutional Access: Promoting Internal Conversations around the Stewardship of Digital Media
    Jean Moylan, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Cristina Fontánez Rodríguez, Maryland Institute College of Art

  • Deploying Review on Demand to Balance Privacy and Access
    Christina Fitzpatrick, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

2:30pm - 2:45pm Wrap-up and closing remarks

3:00pm - 5:00pm Free museum tours for meeting attendees


Plenary Speaker

The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is an innovative thinker, philosopher, educator and a polymath monk. He is Director of the Ethics Initiative at the MIT Media Lab and President & CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a center dedicated to inquiry, dialogue, and education on the ethical and humane dimensions of life. The Center is a collaborative and nonpartisan think tank, and its programs emphasize responsibility and examine meaningfulness and moral purpose between individuals, organizations, and societies. Six Nobel Peace Laureates serve as The Center’s founding members and its programs run in several countries and are expanding.

Venerable Tenzin's unusual background encompasses entering a Buddhist monastery at the age of ten and receiving graduate education at Harvard University with degrees ranging from Philosophy to Physics to International Relations. He is a Tribeca Disruptive Fellow and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Venerable Tenzin serves on the boards of number of academic, humanitarian, and religious organizations. He is the recipient of several recognitions and awards, and received Harvard’s Distinguished Alumni Honors for his visionary contributions to humanity.

Registration Rates

To learn more about meeting registration please see our faq.

Directions & Parking

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum is located at Columbia Point in Boston. 

The Library is accessible via public transportation. The closest stop on the T is JFK/UMASS on the MBTA’s Red Line. A free shuttle bus runs from this station to the Library. See the Library’s website for more information:

There is free parking available for Library visitors located in the large parking lot directly in front of the Library and Museum building. However, given the ongoing construction on the UMass Boston campus, attendees are encouraged to use public transportation. 

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