“As curators of knowledge, we literally decide who should be seen in the world and how, who should be heard in the world and how, and whose memories should be preserved and how.”
These are the words of Anasuya Sengupta, who gave a powerful keynote address at the Grand Challenges Summit in March. She spoke eloquently about the responsibility, and opportunity, we have as scholars, practitioners, and technologists to curate and preserve information.
The stories we tell in this issue of Bibliotech bear this out. We launched a project to expand our collections of MIT women faculty in science and engineering because archives have the power to make them more visible. We partnered with history professor Craig Steven Wilder on the MIT and Slavery course because hands-on archival research gives students the opportunity to write the Institute’s history. And as machine learning and artificial intelligence become more critical to research like materials science professor Elsa Olivetti’s, it will be imperative for libraries to ensure that the data read by machines is not only accessible and of high quality, but also inclusive and diverse.
There is incredible potential, and incredible responsibility, in building a new information future — in figuring out how to make knowledge more open, more inclusive, and more available to those who want to get their hands dirty with it. We think there’s no better place than MIT to tackle this work, collaborating with our partners around the world. That’s what we’ve started with the Grand Challenges Summit, and what we hope to continue with support from people like you.
There is exciting work ahead. We hope you will be a part of it.
All my best,
Chris Bourg, PhD
Director of Libraries