Shelby Kendrick, Recent graduate in Public History, Sacramento State

Proposal Type


  • Seeking Additional Presenters
  • Seeking Specific Expertise
  • Seeking General Feedback and Interest
Related Topics
  • Archives
  • Memory
  • Theory

Archival professionals and academics have explored and developed standards and best practices for accessioning collections, but much of the existing literature on accessioning only pertains to appraisal and the ethics behind choosing which collections to acquire. Archivists, administrators, donors, and other stakeholders can potentially influence a collection as it goes through the accessioning process. This presentation proposes to explore the various potential influences upon archives, how they affect public memory, and what public historians can do to help.


This proposal is inspired by my Master’s thesis, “Archival Distortion: A Study on Postmodern Accessioning and Memory,” which is available online. I am searching for other individuals with expertise in archives, especially in dealing with archival politics involving administrators, donors,  or other actors and bodies that may influence a collection–good or bad. Other options for participants include someone with expertise in postmodern archival theory, how archives affect public memory, and/or archival policy creation and best practices.

For the proposal, I hope to elaborate on my existing study with more experiences and solutions from archivists regarding the factors that can influence a collection prior to processing and providing access. Another hope is to gauge interest in and share a simple application of postmodern thought to archival practice. I am open to combining these topics with others that are relevant as well.

If you have a direct offer of assistance, sensitive criticism, or wish to pass along someone’s contact information confidentially, please get in contact directly: Shelby Kendrick, [email protected]

If you have general ideas or feedback to share, please feel free to use the comments feature below.

All feedback and offers of assistance should be submitted by July 2, 2017.


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