When a country emerges from conflict, citizens demand that perpetrators be held accountable for past violations of human rights; that the governmental system be reformed to prevent a future recurrence of past repressive practices; that the truth be told about what really happened, both in personal terms (such as learning the fate of a loved one) and in terms of how the society came to be what it was; and that reparation be made for the moral and material losses suffered during the period of oppression. Archives are essential to meet these demands. At the next Washington History Seminar on Monday, January 31, 2011, Certified Archivist Trudy Huskamp Peterson will discuss examples of using archives for accountability in countries around the world, in her presentation entitled “Unfinished Business: Archives after Conflict in Guatemala, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.”
Trudy Huskamp Peterson, a former Acting Archivist of the United States, is presently the chair of the Human Rights Working Group of the International Council on Archives. She advised the police archives in Guatemala, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, among others. Her books, Final Acts: Preserving the Records of Truth Commissions (2005), and Temporary Courts, Permanent Records (2008), were published by the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Reservations are requested because of limited seating. To reserve a seat at the seminar, contact Miriam Cunningham at 202-544-2422 ext 103. The seminar takes place at the Wilson Center, located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Federal Triangle Metro stop).
The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Wilson Center and facilitates the understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and places, and from multiple perspectives Click for the Spring 2011 schedule and topics, as well as links to videos of past presentations. The seminar is grateful for the support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.