Five workshops were held at venues around the world aimed at promoting the preservation of and access to literary archives.
Questions informing scattered legacies
This opening workshop was held at the University of Reading’s Museum of English Rural Life. It examined the foundational questions of how to define and situate diasporic literary archives, and identified what circuits of value and benefit the network can facilitate. It established the affirmative and pragmatic approach of the network while addressing the serious and sensitive questions around location.
- Date: June 7 – 8, 2012
- Location: University of Reading’s Museum of English Rural Life
Examining split collections
Authors’ papers are often spread across different locations and types of institution. This workshop investigated the concept of location as a locus of conservation and author’s origin, and the place where the manuscript was materially produced. It explored avenues for fuller access, models of scholarly exchange, and digitized mirrored collections.
- Date: February 28 – March 1, 2013
- Location: Università di Pavia
The stakes of public/private ownership
Literary papers often form part of private business archives, notably those of publishers and literary agents. In addition to contributing to geographic dispersal, private ownership of archives raises issues of public access, the ethics of privacy, and copyright. This workshop brought into dialogue the special interests of authors, agents, publishers, libraries and scholars from different national backgrounds.
- Date: May 30-31, 2013
- Location: l’Institut Mémoires de l’Édition Contemporaine (IMEC)
The politics of location
Through case studies that examined the particular pressures and demands of emergent and ‘peripheral’ literary archives and their relations to national heritages, the workshop brought sharper focus on the politics of location, and how these determine both user-access and modes of interpretation.
- Date: March 25-26, 2014
- Location: National Library of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain
Diaspora and the digital
This workshop reviewed the challenges and the opportunities for born-digital literary archives and for digital humanities projects. It investigated new forms of scholarship and new patterns of research made possible by changing archival technologies; assessed the implications for accessibility and for the politics of location; and evaluated from an international perspective the risks which may follow from unequal access to these technologies.
- Date: October 23-24, 2014
- Location: Yale University, New Haven, CT