Building Representative Community Archives: Inclusive Strategies in Practice

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

Showcasing a range of projects aimed at increasing the diversity of representation in archives, the practical examples in this collection will assist librarians and archivists in their own work to document, preserve, and create access to history.

Libraries and archives are grappling with the problems created by collection practices of the past, many of which document those in power while bypassing alternate perspectives and stories. This volume examines continuing efforts in archives across the U.S. to build inclusive records that better represent the disparate histories of this country. It details varying approaches to uplifting community and activist archives that are working to preserve parallel histories, outlining a way forward that will help special collections librarians as they design projects in the future. Readers will discover

  • the importance and value of records that preserve complicated, nuanced, and diverse histories;
  • differences between community-created archives, community-centered archives, and archives that simply document various communities, made with little or no consultation of those whose histories are witnessed in the records; 
  • background on institutions’ recent collecting efforts, with case studies that illustrate innovative approaches, new techniques, errors and pitfalls, and the resilience and patience necessary to build collections;
  • first-hand accounts by archivists in community organizations who are working within networks of trust to preserve and tell stories;
  • how archivists are reassessing and reprocessing collections to bring the many and various stories they witness to the fore by employing changes in description detail or terminology;
  • guidance on conducting, transcribing, and making accessible oral histories; and
  • considerations of how to best use available resources, including equipment, time, people, and funding.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use. 

Introduction: Building, Reassessing, and Working Together, by Hannah Crummé

Chapter 1    “Talking White”
An Anti-oppression View Towards Transcribing and Archiving Black Narrators 
Alissa Rae Funderburk

Chapter 2    Building Archives, Community, and High Impact Experiences
Oral History and Under-Represented Voices from North America’s Amazon 
Deborah Gurt and Kathy J. Cooke

Chapter 3    Vietnamese Portland
Building Connections between a Private College Library and a Local Community
Hannah Crummé, Zoë Maughan, and Vân Trong

Chapter 4    Voices Out Loud
Archiving East Tennessee’s LGBTQ+ History 
Donna Braquet, Kat Brooks, Alesha Shumar, Lizeth Zepeda, Louisa Trott, and Meredith Hale

Chapter 5    “Corrective Collecting”
A Practical Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion-Centered Model for the Ethical Curation and Administration of Representative Community Archives 
Conor M. Casey

Chapter 6    Italian American History Collections 
Melissa Marinaro

Chapter 7    Building Representative Archives
Training Archivists to Act as the (Representative/Inclusive) Bridge between an Archive and the Public 
Christine Angel and Mary Elizabeth Brown

Chapter 8    It Is in There Already
Finding and Elevating the Disparate History Within
Mary Hansen

Chapter 9    The Gospel of a Community’s Archive 
Michelle McCoy

Chapter 10    The Community Archives of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education 
Alisha Babbstein and Anne LeVant Prahl

About the Contributors

Hannah Leah Crummé

Hannah Leah Crummé is Head of Special Collections and Archives at Lewis & Clark College. She completed her doctoral research at King’s College, London after which she joined The National Archives of the U.K. Crummé edited several collections, including Re-examining the Literary Coterie, 1580-1780 (2016) and Shakespeare on Record: Researching an Early Modern Life (2017; awarded the British Record Association’s Janette Harley Prize).