10th - 11th April 2008, Caledonian Hilton Hotel, Edinburgh

Keynote speakers include Verne Harris, Head of Memory for Justice Programme, Nelson Mandela Foundation, South Africa and Professor Terry Cook, University of Manitoba, Canada and Dr Elizabeth Shepherd, University College, London.

This conference focuses on the philosophy and politics of identifying, selecting and preserving archives. It 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.

The questions raised by this conference are based upon the diverse interdisciplinary agendas which have an impact on the creation, interpretation and use of archival material. Theorists, archivists, historians and discipline specific scholars will develop a critical understanding about these issues. In particular, this conference addresses the ways that institutional, political and temporal frameworks have impacted on how archives are accumulated and used.

The conference provides a space to debate ethical issues and policy formulation in relation to use and abuse of archives in specific contexts and in recording social, cultural and personal memory and identity. In particular it examines how collections relate to larger stories of regional, state or national narratives.