January 10, 2022— As Ohio’s professional association of archivists, the Society of Ohio Archivists stand in firm opposition to Ohio HB327. As archivists we collect, preserve, and make accessible historic documents that allow people to study and learn from the past. We vehemently oppose any legislation that infringes upon free speech and interferes with the teaching and research work of not just archivists, but librarians, teachers, professors, and workplace educators.
By prohibiting “divisive concepts” in education, HB327 attempts to inhibit the archival profession and the day-to-day work of archivists. Archives, especially those housed in public colleges and universities, will be unable to collect and share material that fully reflects the experiences of all Ohio’s people. As those charged with collecting and preserving the primary sources upon which historical narratives are based, it is vitally important that our collections document an accurate view of the past including those who have faced discrimination based on their race, sex, gender, ethnicity, or other characteristic. All Ohioans deserve to see themselves reflected in the historical record. The silences in the archives that HB327 creates will change the way current and future generations understand and learn from the past. Continue reading