Community Archiving Resources
Each Chronicling Resistance Fellow received a Community Archiving kit and a backpack in which to carry some of the items. The contents were largely based on this list from the “Archivist in a Backpack” program at UNC Chapel Hill. In the video to the right, Simon Ragovin, an archives technician at Drexel University Archives, guides Fellows in how to use materials in their archiving kits and how to handle delicate materials they find among their community members or in institutional archives.
Questions to ask yourself before you begin archiving
Let’s say you’re not working with an institution or intending for an institution to acquire your collection, or your community’s. Below are some of the questions you may navigate as you get deeper into your work. The first two questions are really important, and their answers will guide the rest.
What are your goals in collecting, preserving, and/or sharing? What’s the purpose or intention?
Who has agency or ownership over the information you collect? (The raw data, or how the raw data is used)?
How do you maintain the trust of the community represented in your archives?
How do you validate a sense of care and respect for the community, while preparing for a broader audience to also encounter the work?
What are you collecting? (Physical papers require space, preservation materials, and temperature control. Digital matter requires space and at least two back-ups.)