Archivists without Borders (AwB) is an international network of associated chapters in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, France, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1998, its main objective is to promote cooperative efforts among archivists to provide aid and resources to countries whose documentary heritage is in danger of disappearing and/or of suffering irreversible damage. A particular emphasis is placed on the protection of human rights and the promotion of accountability through the archives.
AwB International is governed by an International Charter (2008) and by the Regulations of the International Coordination Council of AwB International (2009).
In February 2012, a core working group met to formally discuss the necessity and logistics of starting a chapter of Archivists without Borders in the United States. This group recognized a growing number of archival professionals who are interested in the work AwB does in support of human rights, endangered archives, and underrepresented communities and wanted to act on this enthusiasm. Spurred by the desire to be part of an international, collaborative community, AwB can serve as a network for information and advocacy, a clearinghouse for relevant news and information, and a hub for volunteer activities within and outside United States borders. The core working group believes that there are endangered archives, underrepresented communities, and other projects in the United States that merit professional attention.
The United States Chapter of Archivists without Borders (AwB-United States) is a member of Archivists without Borders International. AwB-United States’ mission is to unite archival professionals through education, outreach, and advocacy to support human rights efforts, underrepresented populations, and endangered archives both in the United States and in collaboration with international chapters.
- Promote and defend human rights through the protection and conservation of archives produced by public and private bodies.
- Promote the development of relationships with human rights organizations.
Underrepresented Populations & Endangered Archives
- Protect the identity and historical memory of culturally diverse communities.
- Collaborate to preserve and protect the fullest identity and historical memory of communities by supporting efforts to ensure that the historical record reflects the diversity of their citizens.
- Support cultural and ethnic diversity among professionals during discussions and deliberations regarding archival materials in the U.S. and abroad.
- Provide continuing archival education for caretakers of archival and documentary holdings to ensure their preservation, conservation, and dissemination.
- Facilitate mutual capacity- and skill-building through collaborative educational and resource sharing with caretakers of archival and documentary holdings.
- Raise social awareness of the usefulness of conserving and using archives to ensure respect for the rights of citizens, government accountability, support for researchers, and as a basis for the economic, social, scientific and technological development and fostering of culture, recovery of historical memory and community identities.
Outreach and Advocacy
- Foster social, human and solidarity-based relationships between archivists in the United States and abroad and promote protection and respect for human rights within the archival community.
- Provide support and collaborative involvement with other archivists and cultural heritage professionals in cooperative archival administrative projects at local, national, and international levels.
- Lead outreach and advocacy movements to empower citizens to understand and access archives.
- Protect, conserve, organize and disseminate* documentary heritage in danger of disappearance or irreversible damage through the design, coordination, development and dissemination of plans, programs and projects, including actions for the safeguarding and recovery of documentary heritage related with guaranteeing the human, individual and group rights of citizens.
*We will always respect and acknowledge cultural traditions that prohibit dissemination of records.
- Full Member: Open to any person of full legal age who engages professionally in archivist work in any public or private archive, persons who work in professions linked with archives, and students currently enrolled in graduate programs in professions linked with archives. Can fully participate in any projects, national and international, in which AwB-US participates. Will have full voting rights within the organization; are eligible to hold elected offices; will receive copies of any publications created by AwB-US; will have access to AwB-US listserv.
- Unemployed/Under-employed: $35 per year**
- Student: $25 per year
- Regular : $50 per year
*The use of membership dues by AwB US is further explicated in the Finance portion of this proposal.
**The unemployed/under-employed rate is available to members for two consecutive years and is not a benefit that is only available once for members.
Goals (draft 1)
Membership (draft 1)