Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2018


archivist, librarian, archives, the archive, erasure, labor, Tansey Test


This poster/slide comes from a larger conference presentation, "Invisible in 'The Archive': Archivists, Librarians, and The Caswell Test," given at the 53rd International Congress for Medieval Studies, on May 11, 2018. That larger paper argues that medievalists and humanities scholars more broadly have erred in writing and theorizing about "the archive" as an abstract, depopulated space, untouched by human labor and laborers. Building on the work of archivist M. L. Caswell, it proposes that humanities scholars adopt "The Caswell Test." Based on the famous "Bechdel Test" for gender representation in media, as well as "The Tansey Test" of archivists, "The Caswell Test"--reproduced on this poster/slide gives humanities scholars three steps to follow in order to ensure that when we write about libraries and archives we are not engaged in the problematic erasure of archivists and librarians.