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Paper short abstract:
In a cultural science archive with a long background of collection work, you find multifaceted and disparate filing systems and principles. Ultimately, they are based on practises in the various research interests that characterized the university archives interests regarding dubious activities.
Paper long abstract:
Investigations involving criminal activities can be problematic for several reasons. On the one hand, the business may not be perceived as directly criminal, even if it happens to be illegal. With experience from gathering in a Finnish coastal landscape, you can mention wreckage and smuggling (contraband) as activities where research has had problems with how to relate to the whole business. Smuggling (contraband) was very common on the Finnish coastline during the prohibition era (1918-1932).
At a later stage, when time has already done its bit to ensure that the subject is not too fiery, rather reprimanded descriptions were documented in which, for example, one's own parish often was regarded as more innocent in the context of illegal activities. There is certainly also some consensus here between researchers and fellow informants about how things actually were, something that can be difficult to access in the remaining archive sources. At an even later stage, the knowledge and information about smuggling may have been romanticized and so distanced that it is unrestrained to tell about them in a more rife spirit.
However, a further complication arises when researchers and archive staff in recent times, with stiffer regulations, have been seriously interested in getting into the subject (e.g. smuggling) on a deeper plane. The relationship with the informants has then been regarded as highly confidential and the interviews or questionnaires have often been coated with such strong confidentiality regulations that they become difficult to use at all.
Archives, access, ethics and fraud [SIEF Working Group on Archives] I
Session 1 Thursday 24 June, 2021, -