April C. Armstrong on Archival Silence

In “What Archival Silence Conceals – and Reveals: Recovering Princeton University’s 19th Century African American Graduate Alumni,” April C. Armstrong of the Mudd Manuscript Library Blog discusses her search for Princeton’s African American Graduate Alumni.

Archival silences distort the past, shaping our current and future self-understanding, so preserving Princeton’s history sometimes means attempting to correct the work of our predecessors. My struggle to bring 19th and early 20th-century African American graduate alumni to light illustrates one way white supremacy of that era continues to influence us today. It also supports the argument that archives are not neutral, so researchers and archival staff must pay close attention to the ways archival work reflects the values of those who did the preserving and discarding.

Check out the full post on the Mudd Manuscript Library Blog.

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