Curating scholarship

Posted on November 10, 2012


If we are going to “do” this thing – if we are going to provide an open worktable with primary source documents in English translation for every archive project currently on our To-Do list, as well as all that are to come – we must figure out some ground rules.

We’ve already defined the Ethics of Holocaust Scholarship that we embrace. We’ve laid out as clearly as we know how the values that form the basis for analyzing, dissecting, and evaluating primary source documents.

We also wish to include as many individuals, schools, college or university classes, freelance writers, and independent scholars as possible. “Mister Skipper” (Dr. Kent Skipper, now CEO of Dallas’ Salesmanship Club) treated us, his seventh-grade students, as if we were writing PhD dissertations. He held us to high standards, expected great things of us – and generally got it. From him I learned never to underestimate the intellect of a motivated seventh grader.

Additionally, I know that some “professors” publish garbage. The degree doesn’t necessarily mean they are good scholars. I know of one professor in the UK who has plagiarized just about everything he has written about German resistance. If he tries to join a worktable, he won’t be welcome.

Nor will I be particularly pleased if Scholl apologists or writers with overtly religious POV join the conversation.

Since this is a collaborative effort, let’s make writing the “rules” regarding participation in our projects a collaborative effort as well. Besides the obvious No factors of plagiarism or proselytization, what other “rules” should we put in place? How can we define “peer review” of comments and conversations?

Please comment below!