K. Matthew Dames
Associate University Librarian
Lead Copyright Officer, Library
University of Michigan
Georgetown University is undergoing an extensive review of its early connections to American slavery, confronting its past and investigating ways to use its resources to address contemporary issues stemming from slavery. As part of this review, Georgetown University Library spent the past year investigating how to help the University become a world leader in the study of slavery, memory, and reconciliation, ultimately convening a Steering Committee that completed its work in September 2017. The Library Steering Committee’s report recommends as its highest priority digitizing the Maryland Province Archives, portions of which chronicle how, why and when the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus sold slaves in 1838. The Jesuits used proceeds from that sale to sustain operations at Georgetown College, the University’s predecessor founded in 1789. In this briefing, we will discuss Georgetown’s process and then foster a broader dialogue about ways research libraries can leverage their mission and expertise to facilitate the creation of digital collections while simultaneously opening engagement with social, cultural, and racial issues that affect our institutions.
See also CNI Podcast: Georgetown’s Extensive Review of Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, an EDUCAUSE interview with K. Matthew Dames and Melissa Levine