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Community Archives

What are Community Archives?

Community archives "often coalesce around a marginalized identity, including ethnic, racial and religious identities, as well as sexual and gender orientation, political affiliaction, economic status and physical locations. These archives are often formed in reaction to the failure of mainstream archives to tell the accurate and complex stories of marginalized communities, resulting in mistrust of those institutions. Community-based organizations and projects invite and empower communities to have a stake in their own history, often through practices that value and encourage the participation of the users and larger communities. Such organizations may vary in size, governance structure, financial capacity, relationship to dominant institutions, and the nature of the identity and community being documented. Yet, community archives are uniter in their insistence that marginalized communities take ownership of their own historical representations as a means of empowerment."          

Caswell, M., Gabiola, J., Brilmyer, G., Zavala, J. & Tai, J. (2018, November). Assessing the Affective Impact of Community Archives: A Toolkit.

Readings on Community Archives