This article seeks to raise consciousness within the field of archival studies in order to foster a generative discussion about how descriptive practices might be expanded, approached differently, or completely rethought. It brings together crosscutting theoretical issues and provides practical examples of mediation in order to mobilize these records in support of human rights work. It first problematizes the foundational archival precept of respect des fonds and its sub-principles of original order and provenance. It then analyzes the necessary transformation of institutional policies and standards in order to foster trust and transparency and identifies structural or system wide strategies for ameliorating past abuses.
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