The Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York (ART) welcomes contributions for its fall issue of The Metropolitan Archivist, ART’s online publication which is currently being redesigned as a digital quarterly with short- and long-form articles, digital exhibitions, and collection spotlights.
The forthcoming issue of The Metropolitan Archivist is organized around the thematic of the Invisible City, in recognition of the various ways in which the historic events of the past six months have made visible that which has failed to register in the mainstream consciousness for far too long. The COVID-19 pandemic transformed our daily lives and made way for the groundswell of public demonstrations over the loss of Black lives. These seismic events have revealed aspects of our culture and society, both historical and present day, that rightfully demand to be seen and transformed. As archivists and special collections librarians performing cultural heritage work and with firsthand knowledge of the gaps and silences that profoundly shape the historical record and the narratives it supports, we ask:
How can efforts to archive lost or marginalized aspects of the historical past and to center ethics of care in contemporary practice move us towards a more ethical and equitable future?
When we think of the historical footprint of New York City, what image comes to mind now and into the future? What stories will records created during this pandemic tell? Of whom and for whom will they be?
The Metropolitan Archivist invites articles and visual essays that reflect on the many ways in which visibility does and does not manifest in the archives. We are particularly interested in archival subjects and archival labor that have historically been rendered invisible, how lost aspects of history may be recuperated, and how past and recent historical events manifest in the increasingly predominant digital sphere of a socially distant present.
For more details, please see visit our submission form and submit pitches (500 words max.) by Tuesday, September 15th for consideration.
Image: "Waterfront, South Street, Manhattan," 1935. Courtesy New York Public Library Digital Collections. Photo: Berenice Abbott / Federal Art Project