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Ethnicity, Race, and Migration: Archival Discourse

This subject guide is created to provide introductory resources in the areas of ethnicity, race, migration, and indigeneity.


This page is dedicated to critical discourse of archival and library practice. 


Bastian, Jeannette, “Whispers in the Archives: Finding the Voices of the Colonized in the Records of the Colonizer,” in Political Pressure and the Archival Record, ed. Margaret Procter, Michael Cook, and Caroline Williams (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005).

Brilmyer, Grace and Michelle Caswell. "Identifying and Dismantling White Supremacy in Archives." (Poster, 2016) 

Caswell, Michelle and Marika Cifor, “From human rights to feminist ethics: radical empathy in the archives,” Archivaria 81:1 (2016), 23-43.

Caswell, Michelle (with graphic design by Gracen Brilmyer). “Teaching to Dismantle White Supremacy in the Archives Classroom.”Library Quarterly 87(3) (2017), special issue “Aftermath: Libraries and the U.S. Election”: 222-235

Cook, Terry, “Evidence, Memory, Identity, and Community: Four Shifting Archival Paradigms,” Archival Science 13 (2013): 97.

Cook, T. (1997). What is past is prologue: A history of archival ideas since 1898, and the future paradigm shift. Archivaria, 43, 17–63.

Cook, T. , & Schwartz, J. M. (2002). Archives, records and power: From (postmodern) theory to (archival) performance. Archival Science, 2(3-4), 171–185. 

Drake, Jarrett “RadTech Meets RadArch: Towards a New Principle for Archives and Archival Description,”

Duff, Wendy and Verne Harris. “Stories and Names: Archival Description as Narrating Records and Constructing Meanings.” Archival Science2 (2002): 263-285.

Dunbar, Anthony. “Introducing Critical Race Theory to Archival Discourse: Getting the Conversation Started, ”Archival Science6 (2006): 109-29.

Genovese, Taylor R. “Decolonizing Archival Methodology: Combating hegemony and moving towards a collaborative archival environment,” AlterNative 12:1 (2016).

Harris, Verne, “The Archive Is Politics,” in Archives and Justice: A South African Perspective, ed. Verne Harris (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2007).

Honma, Todd. (2005). Trippin’ Over the Color Line: The Invisibility of Race in Library and Information Studies. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 1(2). 

Hughes-Watkins, Lae'l (2018) "Moving Toward a Reparative Archive: A Roadmap for a Holistic Approach to Disrupting Homogenous Histories in Academic Repositories and Creating Inclusive Spaces for Marginalized Voices," Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 5 , Article 6. 

Jimerson, Randall, “Archives for All: Professional Responsibility and Social Justice,” American Archivist 70, no. 2 (2007): 252-281, doi:

O'Neal, J. (2015). “The right to know”: Decolonizing Native American archives. Journal of Western Archives, 6(1), 1–17.

Ramirez, Mario H. “Being Presumed Not to Be: A Critique of Whiteness as an Archival Imperative,”The American Archivist78 (Fall/Winter 2015): 339-356.

Robinson-Sweet, Anna, (2018) Truth and Reconciliation: Archivists as Reparations Activists. The American Archivist: Spring/Summer 2018, Vol. 81, No. 1, pp. 23-37.

Wood, Stacy, Marika Cifor, Anne Gilliland, Kathy Carbone, and Ricardo Punzalan, “Mobilizing Records: Re-Framing Archival Description to Support Human Rights,” Archival Science 14 (2014): 397-41

In the Fall and Spring of the 2020-2021 academic year, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration hosted a discussion series entitled "Decolonizing the Archives." The purpose of which was to introduce students to the methods, and political/ethical questions inherent in the foundations of library/archival research with BIPOC scholars, librarians and archivists. Most of the guests speakers for the series were from outside of Yale University, but had worked in or with archives in a variety of ways. 

Please find the speakers' photos, names, and titles, flyers of the events, and their slides below





Sara Powell

 Assistant Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts

 Houghton Library

 Harvard University






Ashleigh D. Coren

Women’s History Content and Interpretation Curator

National Portrait Gallery






Lizeth Zepeda

Senior Assistant Librarian

California State University at Monterey Bay









Dr. Nicole N. Aljoe

Associate Professor of English and African American Studies

Northeastern University