Assignment 6: Exploring an Ethical Dilemma

Kenny Martin

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Assignment 6

 

Prompt I chose: You discover a bag full of records in the basement of the company you are working for as a corporate archivist. On the face of it, it is clear that the documents contain very sensitive information on slush money paid by your company and bribery by the Chief Executive Officer. Apparently, the bag has been put there to be destroyed or to be put out in the trash. What do you do?

 

My answer to this question is that the archivist SHOULD NOT take the bag of documents they found and work to process them and add them to their collection. This argument is based primarily on the Categorical Imperative.

I don’t think it is a good idea to have “archivists can incorporate records that aren’t given to them into the archives” as a universal maxim. It seems like an action unbecoming of a professional in any field, and in the case of archivists it creates a mess when it comes to preserving context and authenticity. If there is only one collection that is obtained in this manner, and it is clearly documented how it was found, then overall the archives still has order because all of the other collections were accessioned normally. But if there are lots of collections obtained in this dubious manner, even if they are documented as such, it throws the entire archives into chaos and doubt. In this one instance, perhaps the archivist will be acting in the interest of the public and researchers, but in the long-run they are establishing a precedent that can cause harm to the public, as well as their own company. Obviously, the creators of the records in this case are not abiding by the Categorical Imperative, either, but that doesn’t make it right for archivists to then break another Imperative. I do not believe someone should hold as a maxim “Archivists will not add documents that are not given to them explicitly for use in the archives, unless the information will expose another’s wrongdoing.” This assumes the archivist More

Assignment #5: Historical Figure Timeline

Kenny Martin

Info 256

Assignment 5

Here is the link to the timeline I made chronicling Rue Randall Clifford, one of the most influential people in the city of South San Francisco’s history: Rue Randall Clifford timeline

Reflection

The South San Francisco Grand Avenue library history collection has lots of information on Rue Randall Clifford, including photographs, newspaper articles, essays, and even memorabilia. I chose to do my timeline on Rue Clifford because I find it remarkable that she was motivated to help shape her community in so many ways, and she also had a very strong conviction for what she believed in. Rue believed in having a strong mind and an equally strong body, so she not only taught at the South City high school for 43 years but she was also the coach of all of the women’s athletic teams, and the assistant coach for many of the men’s teams. As a result, the football field at SSF high school was named More