About CIE and its current projects



The Center for Information as Evidence (CIE)  is based in the UCLA Department of Information Studies (UCLA's iSchool) and was founded in 2005. Since then it has served as a locus and partner for numerous research and development projects supported by funders such as the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. It has also sponsored or co-sponsored pioneering research symposia such as The Antonym of Forgetting: Global Perspectives on Human Rights Archives (2014), Affect and the Archive (2015), Displacement, Diaspora and Documentation (2018) and [Dis]memory, [Mis]representation, & [Re]figuring the Archival Lens: Kenneth Karmiole Symposium on Visual Archives (2018).

CIE Objectives:

  • To encourage local and global discourse around notions of  information as evidence that articulate and expand upon this as an area of  study
  • To promote interdisciplinary and transnational research, practice and educational approaches to the preservation and use of information artifacts as evidence by facilitating collaborations that bridge theory and practice, and cross the academy, government, judicial, industry, and affected communities
  • To monitor relevant local and global issues relating to recordkeeping and archives, accountability, equity, social justice and rights, especially human rights, and
  • To sponsor relevant outreach
  • To disseminate activities and host research forums that promote public and scholarly awareness of information as evidence concerns, and
  • To advocate for accountability, equity, social justice and human rights based on the findings of research initiatives undertaken by the Center and its partners

If you are interested in affiliating with CIE, or in collaborating on a research project, symposium or other activity, please email Anne Gilliland at gilliland@gseis.ucla.edu.

The Archival Education and Research Initiative (AERI)


Begun in 2009 with funding from the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Archival Education and Research Initiative (AERI) today is a collaborative global effort among  academic institutions to support the growth of a new generation of  academics in archival and recordkeeping education and research who are  versed in contemporary issues and knowledgeable of the work being  conducted by colleagues. The initiative promotes  state-of-the-art in scholarship in Archival Studies, broadly conceived,  and encourages curricular and pedagogical innovation in  archival education locally and worldwide. 

AERI is engaged in a number  research and infrastructure building initiatives as well as annual  week-long summer Archival Education and Research Institutes (AERIs) that  are hosted by partner institutions. These working Institutes are  designed to strengthen education and research and support academic  cohort-building and mentoring. The Institutes are open to all academic  faculty and doctoral students working in Archival Studies as well as to  others engaged in archival education and scholarship, both nationally  and internationally. We provide scholarship support to certain  categories of attendees, particularly students and junior academics, to the extent that funds are available. 

A second component of this effort is the encouragement of a larger and more diverse cohort of doctoral  students in Archival Studies through the Emerging Archival Scholars Program (EASP) begun in 2011 with funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.  EASP seeks to promote state-of-the-art in  scholarship in Archival Studies, broadly conceived, as well as to  encourage curricular and pedagogical innovation in archival education  locally and worldwide.

AERI Director: Anne J. Gilliland, Department of Information Studies, UCLA

Emerging Archival Scholars Program (EASP):

Anne J. Gilliland, UCLA, PI

Tonia Sutherland, Assistant Professor, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, co-PI

Kelvin L. White, Associate Professor, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Oklahoma, co-PI

Refugee Rights in Records (R3) Initiative


The Refugee Rights in Records (R3) Initiative encompasses multiple research and education projects led by researchers at UCLA and elsewhere investigating contemporary and historical concerns faced by those who have been forcibly displaced and diasporic populations with regards to records and recordkeeping, and documentation and memory more broadly. 

Anne J. Gilliland, PI, Professor, UCLA Department of Information Studies

James Lowry, Co-PI, Lecturer, Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies (LUCAS)

Agency & Affect of Recordkeeping in Individual and Community Lives After Yugoslavia


Begun in 2008, this project aims to: 

  • acknowledge and identify structural and emotional confrontations and  violence perpetrated and perpetuated by recordkeeping; 
  • elucidate different official, bureaucratic and personal realities that are in  play; 
  • identify and understand the dimensions of “workarounds” that are being or might be used when records are difficult to obtain, missing, destroyed, or were simply never created; and, 
  • promote recovery through the provision of services, systems and education in support of immediate and evolving personal and community needs for records. 

Using primarily ethnographic methods it probes personal, professional and literary attitudes towards, and experiences with  recordkeeping. It applies the insights thus gained to enhance how recordkeeping systems, processes, metadata, interfaces and end user  services might better protect individuals who continue to be vulnerable  because of how records or metadata have been created, kept, destroyed, manipulated or shared; to facilitate how individuals locally and in  diaspora need to locate and use [particular] records in support of their  daily lives and well-being; to help individuals to identify other sources of evidence and build cases when records have been destroyed or damaged, or are not trustworthy; and to acknowledge and mitigate  damaging affective aspects of records and recordkeeping.

 Anne J. Gilliland, PI, Department of Information Studies, UCLA