Now that we’ve concluded the work on our grant, we are identifying ways that our short-term efforts can have a longer-term impact on the University Libraries at UNC-Chapel Hill.
After four years, our Community-Driven Archives team has concluded its work on this Andrew W. Mellon grant-funded initiative. As we come to the end of our journey together, we took the time to reflect on and to be honest about the strengths of this work and the challenges and weaknesses of our project.
Against all expectation, with the suburbs of Orlando at its doorstep and the interstate visible from the town center, Eatonville has survived the fragmentation common to many small southern towns. If Eatonville retains a small-town atmosphere, it is also mindful of deep history.
The success of partnerships between communities and institutions often depends on the level of compatibility between the partners on issues of power and equity.
In 2012 and 2013, Archival Seedling William Isom, II helped conduct oral history interviews with a number of community members associated with Swift Memorial Institute, a late Historically Black College in Rogersville, Tennessee.
Traditionally, archivists stick to access and preservation and leave interpretation and storytelling to the researchers. But what happens when we listen to what our audiences want? We find ways to help them tell meaningful stories about their communities’ history.
Our grant project points to the need for critical reflection about institutional resources, and our experiences spur us to devise ways to more directly resource our partners, design grant projects with a bigger focus on equity, and collaborate with our community partners in the development of frameworks to help us measure progress in these areas.
Dyann Robinson is the heart and soul of the Tuskegee, Alabama theater scene. She founded the Tuskegee Repertory Theater in 1991.
On September 21st a group of CDA team members and students from the Public History graduate program led by Dr. Charles Johnson at North Carolina Central University drove to Princeville NC to conduct oral histories. We partnered with lifelong citizens, town officials, and longtime residents of the Princeville community to collect stories and workshop the oral history backpacks.
CDA team member Gillian McCuistion reflects about the relationship between UNC Libraries project archivists and the Appalachian Student Health Coalition: What is our institutional role so that community storytellers and their needs are centered?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the change of medium from in-person to digital presented an unexpected opportunity to stretch our expectations of technology and start rethinking how we can use it to create embodied and relational experiences online.
Meet past team CDAT members: In October 2017, the Southern Historical Collection celebrated the complete staffing of our “Building A Model For All Users: Transforming Archive Collections Through Community-Driven Archives” Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant team.
CDA team members spent the last weekend of February traveling to Shaw, MS to conduct an Archivist in a Backpack Training and archival techniques workshop. They collaborated with a group working to preserve and share the history of the town of Shaw, specifically the civil rights case Hawkins vs. Town of Shaw.
Archival Seedlings was a 15-month program supporting the development of small community archives projects led by individual history keepers across the South.
Here are some ways our collaboration with Seedlings participants got creative in 2020 to resource local history initiatives with the support of our grant funds.
Navassa, NC is one of the towns in our Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance (HBTSA) grant partnership. University Libraries at UNC-Chapel Hill has several interesting collections that encompass the history of this small town.
Around 1973, the Appalachian Student Health Coalition (ASHC) recognized that groups working in the east Tennessee area needed additional legal services not initally provided by ASHC. Thus, in the ASHC’s spirit of “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comforted” the East Tennessee Research Corporation (ETRC) was born in 1974.
Not everyone is able to or wants to be responsible for the long-term care of archival materials, but many still wonder, “Who can I trust to be the steward of my important historical records?” The answer is different for everyone.
From 2017-19, the Community-Driven Archives (CDA) grant team and the Southern Historical Collection collaborated with Dr. Karida Brown while she was a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University, along with many Appalachian families on the Eastern Kentucky African American Migration Project (EKAAMP).
Introducing a pioneering online archive about student activism in the 1960s and 70s, a digital home for video clips, historic photos, and personal profiles from former activists in the rural South with a focus on health care.
Community archives and other community-centric history, heritage, and memory projects work to empower communities to tell, protect, and share their history on their terms.
A charrette is a focus group that brings together a wide variety of stakeholders in order to map solutions.
When we talk about communities, we aren’t just talking about towns that exist right here, right now with neatly registered zip codes.
One of the central initiatives for the CDA Team is a transportable archiving kit that demystifies the technical jargon and supplies resources for communities.
From the beginning, the Community-Driven Archives Team has prioritized oral history training and the collection of oral histories as a key part of our work.