liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Andersson, Klara
Publications (1 of 1) Show all publications
Sköld, J., Osvaldsson, K. & Andersson, K. (2019). Letters Intended for Someone Else: Ethical Reflections on Access to Historical Experience in Private Collections. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Letters Intended for Someone Else: Ethical Reflections on Access to Historical Experience in Private Collections
2019 (English)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

In her famous work Dust: Archive and the Cultural History (2001), Carolyn Steedman stated that “the Historian who goes to the Archive must always be an unintended reader, will always read that which was never intended for his or her eyes.” (Steedman 2001: 75). The fact that we are the unintended readers have ethical consequences, especially when the sources concern experiences of sensitive personal matters. In Sweden, when accumulating such sources from an archive, access will be regulated by rules enforced by law or by the archive. In order to safeguard the integrity of the historical subjects the archive might allow restricted access to sources, for example by redacting any personal information in the data made available to the researcher. However, when using private collections that are not stored in an archive, no professional gatekeeper is present to safeguard the integrity of the historical subjects. Instead we must rely on our own ethical judgements. Moreover, in several countries, ethical vetting boards now also have to approve of research projects on sensitive matters that involve individual historical – though possibly still living – actors. But what if the historian’s ethical judgement conflicts with the ethical vetting board’s? What happens to historical research if we adjust our knowledge interests towards queries and sources ethical vetting boards are likely to approve? In this blog post we discuss two cases from Sweden where the Regional Ethical Vetting Board at Linköping University has evaluated two research projects, which have dealt with letters in private collections. The respective decision processes illustrate the dilemmas and problems that the process of ethical vetting might pose to historians....

Place, publisher, year, pages
Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, 2019
The Politics of Family Secrecy. A Research Blog
reserach ethics, archive, access, private collection
National Category
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156492 (URN)
Flykt från skammen eller semester från familjen? marknaden för privata spädbarnshem och barnpensionat 1915-1975En professionaliserad röst för barnen? BRIS och det nya samhällskontraktet mellan stat och samhälle
Swedish Research Council, 2017-01769
Available from: 2019-04-24 Created: 2019-04-24 Last updated: 2019-04-24Bibliographically approved

Search in DiVA

Show all publications