VCARA Conference

Call for Poster Presentations
Submission Deadline: May 7, 2010
First Annual VCARA Conference
“Public Records / Public Trust”
May 25, 2010

5:30 PM (PST) to 7:30 PM (PST)

Location: The Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration (VCARA) in Second Life on the SJSU SLIS Island

Public records belong to the people, who trust the government to safeguard these historical documents. However, historical public documents are lost or stolen at all levels of government, and such loss is not a new phenomenon. Early records have been destroyed by fires and floods, damaged during riots and wars, and stolen and sold for profit by those entrusted with their care. Rapidly evolving forms of communication and Internet based commerce provide fertile ground for trading in valuable assets, both legal and illegal. In the past few years, a number of states have been surprised to find “history for sale” by private individuals on eBay and other sites on the Internet. What many citizens do not know is that records created by government entities, even if they are in the possession of private individuals, remain public property. Those convicted of the theft of those documents face fines and imprisonment, and those buying such documents will be expected to return the!
m, often without reimbursement for the purchase price.

This conference aims at presenting research findings and generating public awareness on the subject of lost or stolen records that may eventually be found for sale to the highest bidder or made permanently inaccessible to the public and historians by other means. Subjects of interest include legal aspects of these issues, methods currently being employed to secure records in public facilities or produced by public officials, analysis of successful efforts to reclaim missing records, as well as effective efforts to educate the public.

Graduate students and faculty from all institutions are invited to take part in the first annual VCARA conference on May 25, 2010. The conference will consist of presentations from invited speakers and poster sessions in Second Life.

Poster sessions are now being organized. All interested graduate students and faculty are encouraged to submit a proposal by May 7th by completing the attached form and sending it to Dr. Pat Franks at Conference organizers will provide assistance with the technical aspects of the poster sessions.

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Peter J. Wosh
Director, Archives/Public History Program
History Department
New York University
53 Washington Square South
New York NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-8601
Fax: (212) 995-4017

Peter Wosh

About Peter Wosh

Professor Wosh directs the program in Archives and Public History at NYU. Professor Wosh’s research has focused primarily on American religion, American institutional cultures, and archival management issues. His background includes work as an archivist in a variety of academic and nonprofit institutions, including: Director of Archives and Library Services, American Bible Society (1989-1994); Archivist/Records Manager, American Bible Society (1984-1989); University Archivist, Seton Hall University (1978-1984). He is the author of Privacy and Confidentiality Perspectives: Archivists and Archival Records, with Menzi Behrnd-Klodt (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005); Covenant House: Journey of a Faith-Based Charity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005); Spreading the Word: The Bible Business in Nineteenth-Century America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994); The Diocesan Journal of Michael Augustine Corrigan, Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, 1872-1880 (Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1987); as well as articles in various archival, historical, and library journals. Professor Wosh’s current research involves editing the published writings of Waldo Gifford Leland, a pioneering archival theoretician, for the Archival Classics series published by the Society of American Archivists.

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