55 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 To an archivist: Archives are organizations that collect the records of individuals or organizations, or the building (or portion thereof ) housing archival collections. Archival practice is the professional discipline of administering such archival collections and organizations. The archival community refers to archivists anywhere who have training and expertise in archival principles and practice (for example, “SAA Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics”).1 The information technology profession, commonly referred to as IT, often uses “archives” and “archiving” to refer to aggregations of digital content and the storage of digital content respectively. Archivists would not typically view these activities and outcomes understood from this IT perspective as archival, nor do they equate to preservation, an essential, more robust, and collaborative concept. How do we understand the roles that may be involved? Non-archivists who curate content may use “digital archivist” to refer to anyone who works on digitized or other digital content of any kind, rather than to an archivist who is steeped in archival principles and practice. Historians and other researchers may refer to archiving to mean capturing, documenting, or recording history and milestones. It is observably confusing to have these different understandings of these core concepts circulating within the same organizations, and it can be frustratingly hard to be heard and to bring attention to the need to develop shared and inclusive working definitions of these terms that are central to what archivists do.2 Community archives have become an important focal point in addressing equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice in the context of collections. Good archival practice always involves working with
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