A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age
by Laura A. Millar
American Library Association, 2019
Paper: 978-0-8389-1771-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8389-3757-0
Library of Congress Classification ZA3075.M55 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 025.524

“Like Orwell and Bradbury, like Stanley and Siskind, Laura Millar has written a book that people in the future will look back on and say, ‘This is one of the books that helped us to survive until a new era.’” — from the Foreword by Lee McIntyre

The safeguarding of authentic facts is essential, especially in this disruptive Orwellian age, where digital technologies have opened the door to a post-truth world in which “alternative facts” can be so easily accepted as valid. And because facts matter, evidence matters. In this urgent manifesto, archives luminary Millar makes the case that authentic and accurate records, archives, data, and other sources of documentary proof are crucial in supporting and fostering a society that is respectful, democratic, and self-aware. An eye-opening treatise for the general public, an invaluable resource for archives students, and a provocative call-to-arms for information and records professionals, Millar’s book

  • explains the concept of evidence and discusses the ways in which records, archives, and data are not just useful tools for our daily existence but also essential sources of evidence both today and in the future;

  • includes plentiful examples that illustrate the critical role evidence plays in upholding rights, enforcing responsibilities, tracing family or community stories, and capturing and sharing memories; and

  • examines the impact of digital technologies on how records and information are created and used.

With documentary examples ranging from Mesopotamian clay tablets to World War II photographs to today’s Twitter messages and Facebook posts, Millar’s stirring book will encourage readers to understand more fully the importance of their own records and archives, for themselves and for future generations.

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