Two of the Find & Connect Team were this year recognised for their work in the Australian Society of Archivists Mander Jones Awards. These awards are for work published in 2019.
Kirsten Wright, Program Manager, won “best article or chapter about archives written by an Australian in an archives, library, museum or records management journal or within an anthology / monograph” for her article ‘Archival interventions and the language we use’, in Archival Science vol 19 no 4 (December 2019, published online May 2019), pp 331-348.
This is an outstanding article discussing the importance of language in archival description. The article gives a theoretical discussion of how the use of offensive and outdated language in archival descriptions can discourage some researchers. It uses the Find and Connect website as an example of how to describe archives in ways that allow users to feel comfortable while remaining historically accurate. While the article’s focus is on the description of Care leaver archives, it is relevant to any archive wanting to improve outdated or offensive archival descriptions.Mander Jones Award Judging Panel
For more on Find & Connect’s approach to historical language, which is often offensive to the people it is about, read our blog post: https://www.findandconnectwrblog.info/2017/09/language-and-the-words-we-use/
Cate O’Neil, the Web Resource’s National Editor and Research Coordinator won “best publication that uses, features or interprets Australian archives, written or edited by a person in their own right” for ‘The shifting significance of child endowment records at the National Archives of Australia’, Archival Science, 19 (2019), 235-253.
This essay is a standout. It is well written and researched with its central focus being the Commonwealth Government child endowment scheme records. The importance and value of these records has grown over the last 20 years as many more communities appreciate the information contained in these records to re-establish community and identity. Advocacy, by those whose lives are documented in the records, has improved archival description and improved accessibility. The author also makes the case for participatory practices in the archives and for extending rights in records to a broader range of communities. It is a timely reminder that the needs of the subjects of records must be considered when appraising them.Mander Jones Award Judging Panel
You can see more on Cate’s work about Child Endowment records here: https://www.findandconnectwrblog.info/2018/06/child-endowment-records-in-canberra/
Monash University was awarded for their work on using participatory co-design to design records systems, in conjunction with Care Leaver advocates (category 6): https://www.archivists.org.au/learning-publications/mander-jones-awards-recipients-1996-2018/mander-jones-awards-recipients
Find and Connect continues to be recognised for our work in collaboration with people in care to make records more accessible to those who need them most.
You can find the full Children’s Welfare Department & Reformatory Schools Report pictured above on Find & Connect.