No Grounds for Citing SAA
The Pensive Quill
2 July 2014
A letter submitted to the Times Higher Education but not published as Ed Moloney, former project director of the Belfast Project, had written earlier and his letter was published.
In his article Oral history: where next after the Belfast Project? (THE 5 June 14) Jon Marcus claimed:
An investigation by the Society of American Archivists has found that the researchers made promises of confidentiality that went further than university lawyers had advised.
The investigation cited was nothing short of appalling deficiency in that it churned out a “litany of incontestable mistakes”. It is regrettable that Jon Marcus did not make clear that the SAA investigation he cited has since March 2013 been “under review” because of complaints about it.
He therefore had no grounds to cite it.
The SAA ‘investigation’ wrongly claimed that project staff (I was the interviewer):
made additional written promises to participants in the oral history project that went beyond those offered by Boston College but … did not disclose to participants that these additional assurances were made on behalf of the project staff and did not represent the position of Boston College.
I responded at the time stating that this was so:
demonstrably false and misleading that only with extreme reluctance could it be accepted as something issued in good faith. Not a scintilla of evidence for such a bald has been forthcoming. Where is the evidence that the researchers ever gave ‘additional assurances’ to the participants?
Don’t hold your breath waiting on the SAA to come up with an answer. It won’t.