An Introduction to Radical Empathy in Archival Practice


  • Elvia Arroyo-Ramírez University of California, Irvine
  • Jasmine Jones University of California, Los Angeles
  • Shannon O'Neill New York University
  • Holly A. Smith Spelman College



In this editors' note, guest editors Elvia Arroyo-Ramírez, Jasmine Jones, Shannon O’Neill, and Holly Smith  introduce the special issue on radical empathy in archival practice.

Author Biographies

Elvia Arroyo-Ramírez, University of California, Irvine

Elvia Arroyo-Ramírez is a queer Latinx daughter of immigrants working in the field of archives. She is the co-editor for the special issue on “Radical Empathy in Archival Practice” in the Journal for Critical Library and Information Studies (JCLIS). Her practice and scholarship are grounded in a feminist ethic of care, and works to expose and repair archival practices rooted in systemic biases that perpetuate harm to BIPOC and other marginalized communities.

Jasmine Jones, University of California, Los Angeles

Jasmine Jones is the Head of Collection Management for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library Special Collections. In this role, she aims to build relationships and infrastructure that allows UCLA Library Special Collections to engage in collective, responsible stewardship and decision-making with its donors, users, and communities. Jasmine has an MLIS with a concentration in archives and an MA in history from Simmons College.

Shannon O'Neill, New York University

Shannon O'Neill is the Curator for the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU Special Collections. She joined NYU in August of 2019. Prior to NYU, she worked at the Barnard College Archives and Special Collections, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the Atlantic City Free Public Library. She is currently working towards a Master’s in Public History at NYU’s Archives and Public History program.

Holly A. Smith, Spelman College

Holly A. Smith is the College Archivist at Spelman College. She received her B.A. in History and Black Studies from The College of William and Mary, an M.A. in History from Yale University, and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. She co-authored the article “This [Black] Woman’s Work: Exploring Archival Projects that Embrace the Identity of the Memory Worker” (KULA Journal). She is passionate about community archives and archival advocacy related to collections for historically underdocumented communities.