Documenting Ferguson: Building a community digital repository

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The August 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, along with other recent police-involved shootings around the country have inspired demonstrations, conversation, debate and calls for systemic change in our society. Soon after Brown’s shooting, Washington University Libraries and other St. Louis cultural heritage institutions established a repository to document events in or inspired by Ferguson. Appropriately named Documenting Ferguson, this community-sourced open repository now has more than 1,500 files of digital photographs, video recordings and other media contributed from all over the country. These are viewable online at http://digital.wustl.edu/ferguson. Video of this talk available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6whGNsesYA.

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  • How do rights work here? Why did we structure this way

    DF: seek original digital content

    T&C:
    ▫ © in submission remains w/ contributor
    ▫ clickthrough agreement grants non-exclusive license to The Washington University to
    -timely + effectively distribute the work
    -optimize short and long-term access to it
    -make available in variety of forms for educational + research purposes
    ▫ certify that contribution original, or with permission, or PD, within exception (i.e. fair use), or otherwise non-infringing
    ▫ 18+
    ▫ option to elect for display of contact info

    Referral service to secure any necessary permissions from original contributor

  • Why not let contributors select a Creative Commons license?

    Issues wt revocability
    ▫ CC licenses are irrevocable. This means that once you receive material under a CC license, you will always have the right to use it under those license terms, even if the licensor changes his or her mind and stops distributing under the CC license terms.

    Platform
    ▫ functionality (currently) to assign licenses individually: only by collection

    Pub/priv
    ▫ 4.0 CCs requires licensor to waive all publicity, privacy, and personality rights (implied under 3.0 and earlier)

    Anon
    ▫ important to preserve option for anonymous submissions

    ∑ no perfect system
    *OGC advised caution @ outset

    [What accords best w/ purpose of project?]


  • Documenting Ferguson: Building a community digital repository

    1. 1. Documenting Ferguson: Building a community digital repository Washington University Libraries • Rudolph Clay, Head of Library Diversity Initiatives and Outreach Services, African & African- American Studies Librarian, and Urban Studies Librarian • Shannon Davis, Digital Library Services Manager • Meredith Evans, Associate University Librarian • Makiba Foster, American History, American Culture Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Librarian • Chris Freeland, Associate University Librarian • Nadia Ghasedi, Film and Media Archivist • Jennifer Kirmer, Digital Archivist • Sonya Rooney, University Archivist • Micah Zeller, Copyright & Digital Access Librarian
    2. 2. Project Team • Assembled August 21, 2014 • Tasked with collecting and archiving community reactions to the shooting death of Michael Brown August 9 • Website and contribution infrastructure, partnership with Archive-It established by August 22 • Additional members joined the team later in August and a Statement of Purpose was drafted
    3. 3. • Preserve and make accessible community and media- generated, original content that was captured and created following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown • Create a freely available resource for students, scholars teachers, and the greater community • Provide diverse perspectives, especially those of the local community, of the events surrounding conflicts in Ferguson, MO Purpose
    4. 4. THE COLLECTION Community contributed content
    5. 5. Woman with Obama sign Greater Grace Church Creator: Mark Regester Date: August 17, 2014 Mark Regester, “Woman with Obama sign Greater Grace Church,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8280.
    6. 6. Protesters holding signs in the street. W. Florissant Creator: Mark Regester Date: August 17, 2014 Mark Regester, “Protesters holding signs in the street. W. Florissant,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8286.
    7. 7. Ferguson, Night 3, photo 4 Creator: Joel Levy Date: August 11, 2014 Joel Levy, “Ferguson, Night 3, photo 4,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8669.
    8. 8. Ferguson, Day 6, photo 45 Creator: Joel Levy Date: August 14, 2014 Joel Levy, “Ferguson, Day 6, photo 45,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8945.
    9. 9. Protesters Creator: Holly Schroeder Date: August 30, 2014 Holly Schroeder, “Protesters,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8453
    10. 10. News coverage from Ferguson, MO October 09 2014 Creator: Argus Streaming News Date: October 09, 2014 9:12 pm CST Argus Streaming News, “News coverage from Ferguson, MO October 09, 2014,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/11411.
    11. 11. Shaw neighborhood protests October 10, 2014 Creator: Adam Ehlen Date: October 10, 2014 Adam Ehlen, “Shaw neighborhood protests October 10, 2014,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/10030.
    12. 12. Shaw Conversations (emails, agenda, and outcomes) Creator: Anonymous Date: October - November 2014 “Shaw Conversations (emails, agendas, outcomes),” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibits, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/10021.
    13. 13. Case: State of Missouri v Darren Wilson. Photos: Darren Wilson’s uniform and weapon Source: The New York Times Date: August 2014 Gore Perry Reporting & Video Company, “Case: State of Missouri v Darren Wilson. Photos: Photos of Darren Wilson’s uniform and weapon,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/10999.
    14. 14. News coverage from Ferguson, MO November 16, 2014 Creator: Argus Streaming News Date: November 16, 2014 12:06 pm CST Argus Streaming News, “News coverage from Ferguson, MO November 16, 2014,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/11429.
    15. 15. Am I Next? Creator: Anonymous “Am I Next,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed August 12, 2015, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/11440.
    16. 16. Other media • Oral histories • Audio • Video • Creative works View the collection
    17. 17. Contribution process 1. Enter basic information about your submission 2. OMIT creator name and email to remain anonymous to the public 3. Attach a file 4. Enter your name and email (required, but only visible to website administrator) 5. Agree to the Terms & Conditions • http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/contribution
    18. 18. THE COLLECTION Archive-It contributed web content & other related projects
    19. 19. Archive-It
    20. 20. Other Related Projects: Oral History Interviews • Documenting Ferguson and Washington University Archives Oral History Project • Focus: WU staff who live in the Ferguson area • Spring semester class project • Summer student worker project • Divided Cities (Professor Jeffrey McCune, Professor Clarissa Hayward, Associate University Librarian Meredith Evans) • Focus: self-identified activists • Other projects across campus
    21. 21. COLLECTING HISTORY AS IT HAPPENS Traditional archive collections vs. Documenting Ferguson
    22. 22. Traditional Appraisal • includes research and input from different individuals • an evaluation of the collection content within the framework of a collection development policy • an assessment of the content for research use • an assessment of originality and authenticity • ownership transfers to archive
    23. 23. Documenting Ferguson collecting • no selection • no assessment of content • no quality control • copy of image/ document (the original remains on the creator’s device) • contributor retains rights
    24. 24. COPYRIGHT
    25. 25. Flyover of rights TERMS & CONDITIONS • Contributor retains © • Non-exclusive license → Washington University • Original (or public domain, or w/ permission, or fair use) • 18+ • May elect to display contact info THIRD-PARTY USE • Referral service
    26. 26. Flyover of rights Why not ? • Irrevocability issues • Omeka plugin limitations • Publicity, privacy concerns • Anonymity option
    27. 27. NEW DEVELOPMENTS & FUTURE WORK
    28. 28. Joint Statement of the Regional Collecting Initiative on Ferguson As institutions representing various aspects of the community— education, culture, and civic societies—we believe that the work of capturing and preserving this historic moment is a responsibility we all share and falls within the missions of our respective organizations… …We collect, preserve, organize, and make accessible to the larger community that which has been shared with us, continually enhancing its ability to serve as an evolving public record. • Ferguson Municipal Public Library, Scott Bonner, Director • Harris-Stowe State University, Barbara Noble, Director of Library Services • Missouri History Museum, Christopher Gordon, Director, Library & Collections • Missouri Humanities Council, Dr. William S. Belko, Executive Director • Saint Louis University, David Cassens, Dean of Libraries • University of Missouri–St. Louis, Christopher Dames, Dean of Libraries • University of Missouri–St. Louis, Dr. Kathleen Nigro, Department of Sociology, Gerontology, and Gender Studies • Washington University in St. Louis, Jeffrey Trzeciak, University Librarian
    29. 29. Future Work • Contributing content to the Digital Public Library of America • Help build a national collection of images & other digital media from contributing organizations • New research projects: • Documenting the Now (Meredith Evans) • Archiving & visualizing tweets from #Ferguson & #BlackLivesMatter • Motivating factors for contributing to an online archive (Chris Freeland) • What motivates users & what barriers exist • Continued collaboration with faculty & organizations
    30. 30. Questions? Mark Regester, “Protester holding a sign,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed May 5, 2015. http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8266

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