Foreword by Lee McIntyre
The safeguarding of authentic facts is essential, especially in this disruptive Orwellian age, where digital technologies have opened the door to a post-truth world in which “alternative facts” can be so easily accepted as valid. And because facts matter, evidence matters. In this urgent manifesto, archives luminary Millar makes the case that authentic and accurate records, archives, data, and other sources of documentary proof are crucial in supporting and fostering a society that is respectful, democratic, and self-aware. An eye-opening treatise for the general public, an invaluable resource for archives students, and a provocative call-to-arms for information and records professionals, Millar’s book
explains the concept of evidence and discusses the ways in which records, archives, and data are not just useful tools for our daily existence but also essential sources of evidence both today and in the future;
includes plentiful examples that illustrate the critical role evidence plays in upholding rights, enforcing responsibilities, tracing family or community stories, and capturing and sharing memories; and
examines the impact of digital technologies on how records and information are created and used.
With documentary examples ranging from Mesopotamian clay tablets to World War II photographs to today’s Twitter messages and Facebook posts, Millar’s stirring book will encourage readers to understand more fully the importance of their own records and archives, for themselves and for future generations.
Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.
Table of Contents
1. “Fake news” and “Truthiness”: The Value of Evidence in a Post-Truth World
2. “Rarely pure and never simple”: Truth, Facts, and Evidence
3. “Given under my hand”: The Nature of Evidence
4. “Talking knots”: The Form of Evidence
5. “Let the other side be heard”: Evidence, Identity, and Connection
6. “The secrecy helped spread the disease”: Evidence, Justice, and Rights
7. “A mysterious and malleable thing”: Evidence, Memory, and Narrative
8. “Opinions embedded in math”: Evidence, Manipulation, and Abuse
9. “Electronic records, paper minds”: Evidence and Assumptions
10. “An arms race against the forces of fakery”: Evidence and Accountability
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