The Tuskegee Syphilis Study: Access and Control over Controversial Records

by Whorley, Tywanna

Abstract (Summary)
As the nations archives, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) preserves and provides access to records that document how our government conducts business on behalf of the American peoplepast and present. For the American citizen, NARA provides a form of accountability through the records within its custody which affect the nations collective memory. A plethora of these records, however, contain evidence of the federal governments misconduct in episodes in American history which affected public trust. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study records are a prime example of records within the custody of NARA that continue to have a lasting affect on public trust in the federal government. Even though NARA disclosed administrative records that document the governments role in the study, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study records continue to challenge the institution on a variety of archival issues such as access, privacy, collective memory, and accountability. Through historical case study methodology, this study examines the National Archives and Records Administrations administrative role in maintaining and providing access to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study records, especially the restricted information. The effect of the changing social context on NARAs recordkeeping practices of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study records is also explored.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:ellen detlefsen; Margaret Kimmel; Elizabeth Yakel; Richard Cox; Stephen Thomas; Joe Trotter

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:information science


Date of Publication:10/06/2006

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