Design for Diversity: The Case of Ed / Alex Gil

In this case study, Gil gives a short description of the design philosophies behind Ed, a system for producing online digital editions. These design philosophies focus on the concept of minimal computing, which includes a holistic analysis of overall system costs in creating and, as importantly, maintaining online resources. The minimal computing approach analyzes these overall costs in the context of historical and current global inequalities in access to resources, including technologies, and suggests a way forward that increases local control while decreasing long-term maintenance costs.

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HBCU Library Alliance

The HBCU Library Alliance is “a consortium that supports the collaboration of information professionals dedicated to providing an array of resources designed to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their constituents.” It serves as a rich resource for librarians and archivists at HBCUs and also coordinates programs with HBCU students, and would be an essential first stop for any new cultural heritage practitioner within or partnering with an HBCU.

African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHum)

Based at the University of Maryland, AADHum brings African American Studies and Digital Humanities together, and serves as an example of both leadership and support, facilitating a community of scholars that center the Black experience. See in particular AADHum philosophical frameworks on Centralizing Blackness in Digital Work and their rich list of projects in progress. Learning more about AADHum projects and methods will help planners of new projects partnering with Black communities in the U.S. A discussion of the AADHum model would pair well with a discussion of the work of Documenting the Now, both exemplary initiatives.

Más Tecnologia, Más Cambio?: Investigating an Educational Technology Project in Rural Peru / Emeline Therias, Jon Bird, Paul Marshall

Excellent analysis of use of educational technology in rural Peru, questioning many basic assumptions of programs based on simple hardware distribution rather than addressing social settings and context. Useful for considering digital archival projects where community partners are in areas with little hardware and network service. Also provides analysis of factors leading to success, again providing guidance for community archives projects where there may be participants with a variety of hardware and network access.

Therias, Emeline, Jon Bird, and Paul Marshall. 2015. “Más Tecnologia, Más Cambio?: Investigating an Educational Technology Project in Rural Peru.” In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI ’15, 447–56. Seoul, Republic of Korea: ACM Press. https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702595.

Organization for Transformative Works: What We Believe

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is “a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms.” Here it provides a model values statement showing how one community, rooted in a primarily female culture, views the importance of preserving its history and archive. Also useful for considering the ways that some community archives, in this case of transformative fan works, may require firm knowledge of copyright and fair use law — see the section on Legal Advocacy for more. Pairing OTW beliefs towards transformative works with readings on the privacy and intellectual property needs of other marginalized communities would be particularly fruitful, showing the complicated role of privacy and intellectual property in community archives.

Diversifying the Digital Historical Record

The Diversifying the Digital Historical Record website has essential coverage of a series of national forums, led by co-PIs Michelle Caswell and Bergis Jules, “focusing on community archives integration in a national digital platform and the potential impact for representation of diverse communities in our digital cultural heritage.” See also the publications and final report with important conclusions, particularly for software development, including for example that “Rather than create a central digital repository for community archival materials, community archives practitioners instead express a need for a structured online space to create a network, share resources and best practices, and leverage each other’s expertise.”

Data Culture Project / Catherine D’Ignazio and Rahul Barghava

The Data Culture Project is a model project for both a thoughtful approach to the use of data and technology as well as exploring methods for worplace education and change. Data Culture focuses on providing training for organizations “struggling to figure out how to build capacity to work with data.” The project leaders suggest: “You don’t need a data scientist; you need a data culture.” Helpful for cultural heritage organizations looking for staff training around more thoughtful production and use of their data, or as a model for how to run an effective educational initiative. Part of the larger DataBasic.io learning portal, led by well-known practitioners and scholars Rahul Barghava and Catherine D’Ignazio.