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New Publication Proposes Green And Sustainable Future For Archives

Image of a muted multi-color 1944 map of the Mississippi River Meander Belt with title "A Green New Deal for Archives" title in middle of image.

Alexandria, VA, July 2023The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is pleased to announce the release of A Green New Deal for Archives, by Eira Tansey, as the inaugural publication in the 2023 Pocket Burgundy series. Recognized by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in 2019 for her outstanding contributions in addressing the impact of climate change on archives, Tansey brings her expertise as an archivist, researcher, and consultant to the forefront in this groundbreaking publication.

A Green New Deal for Archives tackles the pressing challenges faced by archives globally, including the  immediate and long-term risks associated with climate change and inadequate staffing. Drawing inspiration from the U.S. New Deal of the Great Depression era, Tansey proposes a public policy program that intertwines both challenges and offers a blueprint for their resolution.  

As Tansey explains, “Archivists steward records that underpin countless aspects of our legal, civic, and cultural life. Archives are a foundational infrastructure for a democratic society and are a public good, but the future of archives is profoundly threatened by climate change and a destabilized workforce. I review the historical precedent for major public support for archival work and sketch out a public policy blueprint for archives to ensure their future viability and relevance. This publication argues that to ensure their continuity and survival, archives need significant public investment.”

While efforts to address the climate crisis have prompted calls for a Green New Deal, recent legislation has primarily focused on the built environment and energy infrastructure. Tansey contends that these measures fall short of achieving the transformative change required. By referencing the original New Deal’s employment of numerous archivists, writers, librarians, teachers, musicians, and historians during the Great Depression, A Green New Deal for Archives aims to inspire a comprehensive public policy program specifically tailored to the needs of archives.

A Green New Deal for Archives is part of the CLIR Pocket Burgundy series, which provides concise publications centered on topics within the information and cultural heritage community. To access this publication and others from CLIR, visit

About the Author:

Eira Tansey, an archivist, researcher, and consultant based in Cincinnati and the Ohio River watershed, is the author of A Green New Deal for Archives. As the founder of Memory Rising, Tansey offers research, consulting, and archival services specializing in climate change, environmental and labor movements, and regional history within the Ohio Valley. Previously, she worked as an archivist at the University of Cincinnati and Tulane University. Tansey’s research on archives and climate change has gained recognition from Yale Climate Connections, VICE, and Pacific Standard, and the Society of American Archivists.

About the Council on Library and Information Resources:

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Stacey Patton

Director of Communications

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