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Dominican University’s School of Information Studies held a spring lecture series in 2020 by Follett Chair Bernard Reilly: Memory Institutions and Digital Evidence in a Civil Society.

In this series, Reilly examined the traditional role memory institutions (libraries, archives, museums) have played in society, and the challenges and opportunities that new technologies and new global political and economic trends present those institutions. The series was organized around case studies, on four types of digital evidence and documentation -- electronic news, earth imagery and environmental information, government records, and community archiving. The case studies also suggested strategies and new skills required for curation and stewardship of the public record today.   

Bernard F. Reilly is former president of the Center for Research Libraries, where he led several major studies and projects focusing on the preservation of digital evidence and documentation, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. From 1987-1997 Reilly served as chief curator in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. 

We invite you to watch the recordings below.


Session #1 - January 28:  Foundations – Documentary Evidence and Memory Institutions.  Reflections on the custodial role of libraries, archives, and museums, traditional curatorial practice, and how those are changing. 

Watch Session 1 on Zoom

Session #2 - February 11: Case Study -- Transformation of the News Industry.  How the longstanding relationship between libraries and the news industry is changing in the era of paywalls, data journalism, and the 24/7 news cycle.

Watch Session 2 on Zoom

Session #3 - February 25:  Case Study -- Community Archiving and Civil Society “Observatories.”  On data and digital evidence in the interest of human rights and anti-corruption.

Watch Session 3 on Zoom

Session #4 - March 24:   The Commercialization of Earth and Environmental information.  On the oceans of new data generated by Big Agra and the commercial satellite industry, and implications for the public domain.

Watch Session 4 on Zoom

Session #5 - April 21: Case Study -- Government and the Cloud.  Thoughts on how technology, politics and government secrecy complicate the role of public archives in the U.S. and abroad.

May 5:  Plenary Discussion -- Curatorial Strategies to Address the New Realities

For more information, contact Cecilia Salvatore ( or Kate Marek (