Faculty Profile: David Wallace

Research interests

David is co-Principal Investigator with Professor Beth Yakel on a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Preservation and Access Education and Training Program to develop and implement a virtual education laboratory featuring digital access and preservation tools. These tools have been integrated into five master’s-level courses in two specializations (Archives and Records Management and Preservation of Information).

Virtualization is seen as having great promise in overcoming the barriers and limitations imposed by the traditional and dominant physical lab model of technology education. All of the grant’s key outputs – virtualization mechanisms, tool specifications, content, and curricula modules – are freely available on the project’s website. By making this documentation and learning materials freely available, the investigators hope to lower barriers for other graduate archives and preservation programs seeking to more fully incorporate IT into their curriculum, a need widely identified in the archival literature. These programs will be able to leverage UMSI’s lessons and implementations to develop and enhance their own curriculum.

David’s other research is oriented towards the politics of record-making and record keeping and how they shape and often misshape the construction of the past and present. He recently edited a special double-issue of Archival Science on “Archives and the Ethics of Memory Construction” where he contributed an essay (co-authored by UMSI graduate Lance Stuchell) on the politics surrounding the creation of the 9/11 Commission’s archives.

He is currently working on a paper outlining a defense of leaking, a la Wikileaks, and its implications for archival practice, and he is collaborating with colleagues in Canada and the UK on assessing the social justice impacts of archives. He is also developing the archival component of an inter-generational dialogue project between youth and elders in Rwanda. The repository resulting from this work has been accessioned into the National Archives of Rwanda and is currently being developed into an exhibition at the Archives in Kigali.

David A. Wallace is a Clinical Associate Professor at the School of Information. He has taught at UMSI since 1997, primarily in the Archives and Records Management specialization.