This project is designed to examine the role and nature of archives and the debates surrounding their selection, application and interpretation. These debates emphasise the centrality of the archive to life and culture. The project provides space to reflect on archives by taking an interdisciplinary approach to their construction, mobilisation and deployment. A series of events will be staged examining the theoretical issues inherent in the preservation and interpretation of archival records in all formats. A major aim of this project is to promote interdisciplinary scholarship in this area in the long-term. The events are also open to the public and comprise three conferences and two workshops.

'A Triangular Traffic: Literature, Slavery and the Archive' 2 November, Dundee

Considers the literary/archival interface in a Scottish context and creative and scholarly work in literature, grounded in archival research.

'The Philosophy of the Archive' 10-11 April 2008, Edinburgh

Addresses debates surrounding the evidential and historical value of archives, social and political agendas and the changing nature of archives. It will also examine how social, cultural and personal memories and identities are represented and recorded and the inherent tension between the use of archives to ensure accountability and their role as cultural artefacts.

'Media, Migration, Archive' 6 June 2008, Edinburgh

Examines the issues surrounding the use of photographic collections, both practically and theoretically. Bringing together archivists and theorists from a variety of disciplines, debates relating to historical context, method and policy are brought to bear on the empirical investigation of photography’s archival presence in Scotland.

Two workshops

serve to sustain the interrogative and self-reflexive methodological critiques brought to light during the conferences.

The first workshop was held on 15 March 2008 in Dundee and was entitled 'Across the Divide: Interdisciplinary Dialogues on the Archive.'

The second workshop was held on 12 December 2008 in Dundee and was entitled 'Archives and Publics.'