Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age: Navigating the Flood of Information

Sponsored by Springer Nature

Recorded on 01/20/2021
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 176

Our digital age has brought with it a mushrooming number of sources, articles, and perspectives to choose from. What should be preserved? How open should resources be? How do librarians and archivists navigate our complicated, ever-changing digital world?

Susan Mizruchi, editor of Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age, discusses the concerns librarians hold as our digital footprint expands: how can we make information more accessible, and how do we teach new scholars around the world to sort, dissect, and apply this knowledge?

In this third episode, Susan discusses the duplicity of the digital age. What are some of the darker consequences of free, digital resources—overstimulation, the gatekeeping of information for profit—and how can we curb these negative growths? She also touches on how community archivists challenge traditional notions of what an archive should be through an activist agenda and aversion to institutional protocols.

About the guest:

Susan Mizruchi
William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities
Director, BU Center for the Humanities
Professor of English
Boston University

Susan L. Mizruchi has been working between disciplines throughout her career, earning B.A.s in both history and English from Washington University in 1981, and her Ph.D. in English from Princeton University in 1985 with a dissertation on nineteenth-century literature and historiography. Since coming to Boston University in 1986, she has focused on the intersection of social, religious, and literary studies. Her specialties are American literature and film, religion and culture, literary and social theory, literary history, and history of the social sciences.

Her books include: Brando’s Smile: His Life, Thought, and Work (Norton, 2014, 2015); The Rise of Multicultural America (North Carolina, 2008) Becoming Multicultural: Culture, Economy, and the Novel, 1860–1920 (Cambridge, 2005); The Science of Sacrifice: American Literature and Modern Social Theory (Princeton, 1998); The Power of Historical Knowledge: Narrating the Past in Hawthorne, James, & Dreiser (Princeton, 1988); and as editor, Religion and Cultural Studies, (Princeton, 2001) and Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

She is the recipient of many academic honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Huntington Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Fulbright Scholars Program. She serves as Oxford University Press’s Delegate in Literature, Film, and Media Studies, and as a consultant for many foundations, among them, PBS (the American Master’s Series), ACLS, NEH, and the Princeton University English Department Advisory Council. Susan has been on the faculty of the Teachers as Scholars Program since 1999. She has directed thirty dissertations at BU and is the recipient of the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education (2015), and a Distinguished Teaching Award from Boston University’s Honors Program (2001). She became the Director of the Boston University Center for the Humanities in July 2016. In 2017, she was named the inaugural William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities.

Enjoy the episode? Check out the rest of the series: