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community & archives?

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A classroom discussion with the students of the Critical Digital Archives course at the University of Texas Austin regarding the concept of Community Archives.

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community & archives?

  1. 1. community & archives? A DISCUSSION WITH ITZA CARBAJAL Critical Digital Archives Course Presentation | November 16, 2018
  2. 2. hello! I’m Itza A. Carbajal UT School of Information MSIS graduate. Now the Latin American Metadata Librarian for LLILAS Benson Read more: www.itzacarbajal.com
  3. 3. The term “nonprofit” groups together a number of organizations even though many do not share characteristics beyond some sort of 501 status National Council of NonProfits 2014
  4. 4. “ Does a community archive exist without or prior to the academic gaze? Or does it only come into existence and according to the principles set out by the privileged researcher and their own set of value and preferences? - Itza Carbajal Today, November 14, 2018
  5. 5. 1. Definitions of Community Archives
  6. 6. U.S. Community Archives Define Community Archives South Asian American Digital Archive Community-based archive not affiliated with a larger academic or institutional repository. SAADA is governed by an independent board of directors, a nonprofit fundraising professional, a lawyer and a consultant. Established: Appalshop Archive Works to preserve the creative output and history of the independent, non-profit organization, as well as orphaned media materials and other collections that help enrich our understanding of the history, culture, art, and social issues of central Appalachia. Established: Interference Archive Mission is to explore the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in an open stacks archival collection, publications, a study center, and public programs including exhibitions, workshops, talks, and screenings, all of which encourage critical and creative engagement with the rich history of social movements. Established: Freedom Archives Non-profit educational archive located in San Francisco dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of historical audio, video and print materials documenting progressive movements and culture from the 1960s to the 1990s. Lesbian Herstory Archive A new concept. A grassroots Lesbian archives. Keeps all of the services of the Archives free, to not seek government funding, and builds grassroots support for the project. Exists to gather and preserve records of lesbian lives and activities so that future generations will have ready access to materials relevant to their lives. The process of gathering this material will also serve to uncover and collect our herstory denied to us previously by patriarchal historians in the interests of the culture which they serve. The existence of these archives will enable us to analyze and reevaluate the lesbian experience;
  7. 7. Research defines Community Archives Andrew Flinn Community histories or community archives are the grassroots activities of documenting, recording and exploring community heritage in which community participation, control, and ownership of the project is essential. (2007) Erica Ander Collections of archival records that originate in a community - that is, a group of people who live in the same location or share other forms of community of interest - and whose collection, maintenance and use involves active participation of that community (2007) Andrew Flinn, Mary Stevens, Elizabeth Shepherd Community archives are created in response to needs defined by the members of a community, who may also exert control over how materials are used. (2009) Terry Eastwood Community archives created or accumulated, described, and/or preserved by individuals and community groups who desire to document their cultural heritage based on shared experiences, interests, and/or identities (2010) Michelle Caswell, Marika Cifor, and Mario Ramirez Community Archives is a general umbrella term under which a host of different types of projects may fit. (2016) Diversifying the Digital Historical Record: Integrating Community Archives in National Strategies for Access to Digital Cultural Heritage These archives are independent, grassroots alternatives to mainstream repositories through which communities make collective decisions about what is of enduring value to them, shape collective memory of their own pasts, and control the means through which stories about their past are constructed. Such organizations are often created in response to minoritized communities being shut out of dominant historical narratives created by mainstream memory institutions. (2016-2017)
  8. 8. Traditional archives define community archives Austin History Center Community Archivists Program is dedicated to collecting and preserving the history of underrepresented and marginalized groups in Austin and Travis County. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Community Archivist for the Southern Historical Collection will document and preserve the histories of marginalized communities previously omitted from traditional archives. The Community Archivist will service the Collection’s existing community archives projects Others define community archives The Hershey Community A unique corporate-community archives serving both its corporate clients and the community established by Milton S. Hershey. The Archives seeks to collect, preserve and make available records that document the history and development of the Hershey, Pennsylvania community. Community Archives and Heritage Group The subject matter is a community of people including people living in the same location or communities of interests. The process of creating a collection has involved the community.
  9. 9. “ Is it possible to go beyond the fetishisation of community archives and arrive at a definition which accurately describes community archives or at least establishes an outline of a field which could encompass all community based archive activity? - Anne Gilliland and Andrew Flinn CIRN Community Informatics and Research Network Keynote 2013
  10. 10. 2. What About Indigenous/Tribal Archives
  11. 11. A Brief History of Indigenous Archives □ Some are a result of the restoration movement and the increased need for Indigenous communities to acquire “official” records to apply for federal recognition □ Entire professional group Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums dedicated to intentionally indigenous memory institutions, spaces, and practices □ Little separation between institutions such as libraries, archives, museums, cultural spaces, or colleges □ Stark differences between what is collected at these institutions □ Physical structures could be achieved through the development of Tribally Controlled Community Colleges (TCCC) in the 1960s □ Hardly ever us the term community in the title rather these efforts use terms like Indigenous, Native, Indian (American), Tribal, or Aboriginal
  12. 12. “ If using the term Community Archives in regards to Indigenous collections, what is lost or found? What happens when we remove direct referencing to Indigeneity when speaking about archives or archival spaces that belong or are controlled by Indigenous peoples? Does the term Indigenous already reference a community?
  13. 13. Community Archives Landscape Fully Autonomous (Non-Digital) Semi-Autonomous Institutionally Sponsored Institutionally Created (outside traditional settings) Indigenous / Tribal Archives Fully Autonomous (Digital) Community Archives Landscape Diagram proposed by Itza Carbajal in January 2018
  14. 14. Community Archives Landscape Fully Autonomous (Non-Digital) Semi-Autonomous Institutionally Sponsored Institutionally Supported (outside traditional settings) Indigenous / Tribal Archives Fully Autonomous (Digital) Revised Community Archives Landscape Diagram proposed by Itza Carbajal in November 2018 Fully Autonomous (Non-Digital & Digital) Private Institutions (For-Profit) Federal/State/ City/County Sponsored
  15. 15. “ Why are “we” (referring to academics and/or archival practitioners) so focused on formulating definitions of and making distinctions between mainstream and community archives and their endeavors? - Anne Gilliland and Andrew Flinn CIRN Community Informatics and Research Network Keynote 2013
  16. 16. thanks! questions? Email me at itza.carbajal@gmail.com ?
  17. 17. Further Readings □ Caswell, Michelle, and Bergis Jules. Integrating Community Archives into a National Digital Platform: Challenges, Opportunities, and Recommendations, November 2017 □ Gilliland, Anne, and Andrew Flinn. "Community Archives: What Are We Really Talking About." Address, Italy, Prato, 2013. https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/920626/gilliland_flinn_keyn ote.pdf. □ Gordon, Bonnie, Lani Hanna, Jen Hoyer, and Vero Ordaz. "Archives, Education, and Access: Learning at Interference Archive." Radical Teacher 105 (2016): 54-60. doi:10.5195/rt.2016.273. □ Moore, Nathanial. "Don’t Trust Anyone Over the Age of 30: Youth Empowerment and Community Archives." Progressive Librarian, no. 44 (Spring 2016). http://www.freedomarchives.org/Documents/Finder/FreedomArchives.DontTrustA nyoneOver30.article.pdf. □ Nestle, Joan. "The Will to Remember: The Lesbian Herstory Archives of New York." Feminist Review, no. 34 (1990): 86. doi:10.2307/1395308. □ O'Neal, Jennifer R. ""The Right to Know": Decolonizing Native American Archives." Journal of Western Archives, Article 2, 6, no. 1 (2015). http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol6/iss1/2. □ Sellie, Alycia, Jesse Goldstein, Molly Fair, and Jennifer Hoyer. "Interference Archive: A Free Space for Social Movement Culture." Archival Science 15, no. 4 (2015): 453-72. doi:10.1007/s10502-015-9245-5.

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