Rebel collectors: human rights and archives in Central America and the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador and the Resource Center of the Americas, 1978-2007
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The invaluable historical records of human rights non-governmental organizations have contributed to the protection of human rights and important social changes (such as the abolition of slavery in the West) at the local, national, and global levels over the last 200 years. This thesis stresses the importance of these records creators and their records in a case study of two human rights non-governmental organizations that responded to human rights violations in El Salvador in the late twentieth century: Comision de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador (San Salvador) and the Resource Center of the Americas (Minneapolis). The other primary and related concern of this thesis is to emphasize the role of the archivist as social justice activist through his or her efforts to include in the archive evidence of marginalized voices that can widen our understanding of peoples' history. As archivists are active shapers of historical memory through archival practice, they must forge alliances with those in the human rights non-governmental sphere to further the contribution of archives to social justice. By actively engaging the world’s memory of the disenfranchised (the archive of justice) archives can play an increasingly important societal role.