Principles for Action

The Concerned Archivists Alliance (CAA) is a loose and diverse collective of archivists, archival students, and other information professionals that came together in January 2017 in reaction to the election of Donald Trump. As we wrote in our January 2017 Statement to the Archival Community:

We are devoted to equitable access to information, committed to the right of citizens to know what their government is doing in their name, and dedicated to the idea that a democratic society cannot thrive in an atmosphere of secrecy and oppression. Therefore, we stand wholeheartedly in opposition to any attempt by the incoming administration to violate these concepts.

But the work and passion of the people who make up CAA do not stop at our initial statement. The work goes ever on.

CAA is a collective group with no top-level administration or formal leadership positions. Following on the model of ProjectARCC, CAA does not require permission or sanction by its co-founders to act in its name. Provided an interested person believes in the principles laid out in the Statement of Purpose, reprinted below, and acts with them in mind, they should feel free to initiate or conduct operate a project or event as part of CAA.

Should you do so, please keep the overall CAA informed so we can all be aware of ongoing CAA activities. Also feel free to spread the word about CAA to your local, state, or regional archival organizations.

Statement of Purpose

The Concerned Archivists Alliance is a group of information professionals, paraprofessionals, and information science students, committed to freedom of information, the protection of privacy rights, and to holding public officials accountable for their actions. We believe that a democratic society cannot thrive in an atmosphere of secrecy and oppression.

To promote a free and open democratic society, we pledge to

  • Work to help ensure the creation, preservation, and accessibility of the records documenting our societies in all of their cultural complexity;
  • Promote awareness of public records laws and regulations and potential threats to those laws, including willful gaps made in the public record;
  • Provide information, resources, and support to our colleagues, so that they may not feel alone in the ongoing struggle to preserve and express our democratic values; and
  • Speak out as a professional community against federal, state or local government policies that negatively impact democracy or social justice.