By Antje Dun
There has been a shift from institutional to participatory archives – communities rising up and documenting their own histories. Here are 3 examples of how communities are speaking their own truths.
When communities create, select, and preserve their own records, it becomes possible to form a more complete and accurate history of their members’ lives and experiences. Moreover, records from the community can be used to counter blind spots, biases, and outright lies in official accounts – Witness
Crowdsourced archives from local communities
Two examples of crowdsourced archives established by local communities spurred by the #blacklivesmatter movement are Documenting Ferguson and Baltimore Uprising. They have used a free, open-source software called Omeka and have given the community somewhere to document their own stories in their own way. The archives were set up in partnership with organisations and local area universities who realised the need to capture and create a space for actions taking place in their communities.
As one participant said it was a way to help remember and understand what people were going through and build coalitions.
The Documenting Ferguson archive has made it very easy for anyone to contribute images, audio, video and stories. If you’re interested in learning more watch this video about how they built Documenting Ferguson.
Preserve the Baltimore Uprising is a digital repository that seeks to preserve and make accessible original content that was captured and created by individual community members, grassroots organizations, and witnesses to the protests that followed the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015. Gray died from injuries sustained while in police custody in Baltimore, Maryland. A freely available resource for students, scholars, teachers, and the greater community, Preserve the Baltimore Uprising seeks to ensure that the historical record of these events will include diverse perspectives from people whose lives have been directly impacted by the complex events surrounding the conflicts in Baltimore.
Crowdsourced archive from around the world
Another example of a crowdsourced archive that has contributed resources from all around the world is the Occupy Archive. It was set up in 2011 during the Occupy movement and is set up and maintained by volunteers using the free, opensource software called Omeka.
- About Omeka – University of Texas
- Digital Heritage Handbook – Lessons
- Community-based approaches to archives from the Black Lives Matter movement
Do you want to give community crowdsourced archiving a go? The Commons is seeking Australian campaigns to feature. Contact the Librarians if you would like to discuss options.
- Archives - Web
- Movements_Campaigns - Anti capitalism_Corporate
- Movements_Campaigns - Racism_Racial justice - US - Missouri - Ferguson
- Movements_Campaigns – Racism_Racial justice – Black Lives Matter