Cal Smith
MA English
BLUE Fellow
|
Winter
2024
Investigating ethical implications of archival research on a historic Spanish manuscript
BLUE Fellow
Winter
2024

Background

My project will investigate some of the remaining ethical quandaries from coursework I performed in Winter 2023 on a McGill manuscript in the Rare Book and Special Collections at the McGill Library. In that work, I was able to trace the origin of Manuscript (MS.) 152 to a hermandad [brotherhood] in Spain. The manuscript describes the rules that govern the hermandad as set by the Catholic church at the time, and the current Hermandad de la Santa Caridad continues to operate under that charter. However, they only possess print copies of the manuscript, which, though the text is essentially the same, the mis-en-page is radically different. My project thus aims to reflect upon the work I performed. While my work was instrumental in informing the hermandad of the manuscript�s existence, it simultaneously reinforced the library's claim to the manuscript because now the manuscript has historical and textual context that informs its value. My BLUE project intends to ask the hard ethical questions surrounding archival work; questions that are uncomfortable for the library but also for me personally as a researcher.

More scholars