Sawyer Seminar on Archives and Social Memory


During the academic year 2000-01, William Rosenberg, Alfred Meyer Professor of History, and Francis Blouin offered a yearlong seminar on "Archives, Documentation, and the Institutions of Social Memory." The seminar, funded under the Sawyer Seminar program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, was the principal offering of the Advanced Study Institute of the International Institute at the U-M that year. The Mellon grant was supplemented with contributions from a number of university units. During the course of the year more than 65 scholars were brought in from universities and archival institutions across the nation and from abroad. They provided perspectives on issues relating to the role of archives as respositories for collective memory and as institutions that shape memory. Among those who participated were David Lowenthal of University College (London), William Kirby of Harvard University, Dakpesch Charkabarty of University of Chicago, Beatrice Bartlett of Yale University, Joan Schwartz of Queens University, Terry Cook of the University of Manitoba, and Hayden White of Princeton University. The seminar was conducted principally for the students enrolled in the course. Due to widespread interest in the topic on campus, sessions regularly had as many as 50 additional observers.