Bowline on a Bight

Doing Right by the Records of Lilian Bland

  • Claire Malek


Focusing on a case study that has at its axis myself and the records of Lilian Bland, I explore person-centred archival theory by engaging primarily with what Sara Ahmed conceptualizes as queer use. I draw on recent archival literature on love and grief, queer theory, feminist theory, anti-colonial methods, and new materialism to propose a radical somatics of critical archival love. I situate my knowledge and power within discourses of social justice, healing, liberatory memory work, and gender and sexuality to reflect on what it means to “do right”: to act ethically and with care toward ourselves and the myriad others we encounter in archival practice, and to be of use to one another.

Author Biography

Claire Malek

Claire Malek (née Williams) works as the Chung/Lind Archivist at the University of British Columbia Rare Books and Special Collections Library, located on the unceded, ancestral, and traditional territory of the Musqueam people. She moved to Vancouver in 2015 and completed her dual master’s degree in archival and library studies, with a concentration in First Nations curriculum, in May 2019. Her interests include environmental history, climate justice, and mobilizing archives through social media, education, and the arts.

How to Cite
Malek, Claire. 2022. “Bowline on a Bight: Doing Right by the Records of Lilian Bland”. Archivaria 94 (December), 258-83.