Archives are vital extensions of human memory. They tell stories about daily life, individuals, and institutions, preserving the past for the future as they anticipate a future in which memories matter. But archives are not neutral repositories of history. Their value and usefulness are impacted by collection practices, storage capacities, technology, and accessibility.
During this bicentennial anniversary of the University of Michigan, the Institute for the Humanities 2017-18 Year of Archives and Futures examines archives and archival practices past, present, and future. We will consider objects that question authority, explore museums and their production of knowledge, investigate the written heritage of an ancient African city, and much more, aiming to expand our understanding of archives, all while looking ahead to the future stories they may tell.