Archivist Emerita

About Elena Danielson

Elena S. Danielson, PhD, worked for 27 years in the Hoover Archives at Stanford University, serving as head of the archives for the last ten of those years until she retired in 2005. She began writing about the ethical dilemmas of archival practice in 1985. In 2005 she won the Posner prize for an article in the American Archivist about access to Stasi records, the East German political police files. Her book The Ethical Archivist (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2010) analyzes topics such as equitable access, privacy, restitution, and authenticity. College and Research Libraries called her book a “masterpiece” (May 2011). In 2011 she published “Secret Sharers,” an article about Wikileaks in The American Scholar. In 2003, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2017 she taught the ethics and law section at the Western Archives Institute. In 2012 she was an instructor for Stanford Continuing Studies. She spoke at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists on August 14, 2014 in Washington DC on "The Ethics of Secrecy and Transparency. Her article "Looking for Mr. Gustave" appeared in the spring 2015 issue of The American Scholar. She spoke at the Stanford Historical Society February 7, 2017, and at the Berkeley-Stanford annual Slavic conference March 3, 2017.