LONG TABLE – Politics in the Research Library
How do we archive contemporary political events and issues? And what is our role on providing information on them?
The two interlinked questions are taken from a seminar we ran for people working in the museum and archives sector in the Library at LSE on 6 December 2018. We asked people for their questions and choose six to discuss in a world café format, the above got the most responses. These questions address the uncertainty around accepting that research libraries are not (and never have been) neutral, while recognising that such institutions have an important role in collecting material from political events.
It was clear from the responses that people in the sector believed that there was also a role for research institutions in providing information but anxiety as to whether such places were equipped to do that. The mediators from LSE Library will help keep the conversation moving around the table to address these issues, share ideas and encourage anxieties to be shared with communal reflection on how we can work towards addressing them. We would like to build on this to help put together a toolkit.