DOI: 10.17723/2327-9702-86.2.545 ISSN: 2327-9702

Archival Reckonings: Confronting White Supremacy in the Digital Transgender Archive

K. J. Rawson
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Building upon decades of scholarship in critical archive studies, particularly work informed by critical race theory, this article closely examines the racialized power of one specific archival initiative, the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA). Presented as an extended case study of the DTA, this article reveals the white supremacist logics that can operate even within projects devoted to seeking archival justice for oppressed communities. Beginning at the broadest level, the article opens with a discussion of archival appraisal and collecting as racial power. Next, the project's commitment to open access is challenged by evaluating the harm to BIPOC communities that may result from unfettered and undifferentiated access. The subsequent two sections take a practical turn as the author discusses the DTA's approach to handling racist content and the projectwide steps that are being taken to address the white supremacist logics that undermine the mission of the project.

More from our Archive