When you think of archives you might think of dusty old books and papers tucked away to be used by historians and other academics. Here at the University Archives we preserve plenty of old University records (that are kept dust-free, by the way), but our day-to-day work is actually very focused on the current moment. Without collecting materials that document the present day researchers can’t study the University in the future.
One way we archive the current moment is through collecting student life materials and UNC related web content. With only three full time staff members it can be tough to keep up with all the conversations, events, and activism happening on campus. We can’t do this alone. This is where you come in!
You can actively contribute to the documentation of what’s happening at UNC by using the hashtag #archiveunc on your public tweets or Instagram posts. That’s all you have to do! By using the hashtag, you opt in to having the posts archived for long-term preservation and research access.
How is the content archived? We will periodically use a tool called Archive-It to “crawl” the tweets or posts tagged with the #archiveunc hashtag. Once the posts have been crawled by the Archive-it tool, the data is preserved by the Internet Archive and we provide access through our Archive-It website.
What kind of tweets are we looking for? We’re open to any tweets or Instagram posts related to UNC academics, campus life, and events. For example:
- Promoting a student organization event? #archiveunc
- Protesting? #archiveunc
- Promoting a cause? #archiveunc
- Sharing activities or chalk messages seen on campus? #archiveunc
If you don’t use #archiveunc, we may be in touch to ask permission to add your social media content or website to the Archives. Collecting social media content as it unfolds is new for us. We’re experimenting, so how we ask for permission and the technology used may evolve over time. As things change, we’ll keep you in the loop.
We hope you’ll join us in this exciting new effort!
Not interested in social media? Other ways to get involved and help document Carolina history:
- Submit photos of UNC shirts to the UNC T-Shirt Archive.
- Connect with us regarding donation of student organization records, digital or print photos, videos, or campus posters/flyers. If it documents something happening at UNC, we’re happy to talk about adding it to the archives. Please email (email@example.com) us to get the process started.
- Nominate a UNC website for archiving. First check to see if we’ve already archived the website: https://archive-it.org/collections/3491. If the website can’t be found in our web archives, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get the process started.