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.
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.
Black Metropolis Research Consortium
The Black Metropolis Research Consortium is a model project for inter-institutional collaboration and community partnership. The project focuses on methods needed to surface and connect materials related to the history and culture of African Americans. The BMRC’s activities include support for internships and fellowships along with projects such as surveying and processing relevant collections for inclusion into their specialized search of finding aids related to African American history and culture. See in particular the BMRC database as an example of increased accessibility through the focused processing of archival collections. The BMRC is, from their website hosted at the University of Chicago: “a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions. Its mission is to make broadly accessible its members’ holdings of materials that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago.”
Archivists and Archives of Color Section
The Archivists and Archives of Color Section is an essential group, informally known as AAC, that creates space and advocacy for archives and archivists of color. A section of the Society of American Archivists, AAC members are often at the forefront of thinking about how to partner with marginalized communities and steward community archives both physical and online. It is also an essential community of support for archivists of color.
Sustainable Heritage Network
The Sustainable Heritage Network (SHN) “is an answer to the pressing need for comprehensive workshops, online tutorials, and web resources dedicated to the lifecycle of digital stewardship. The SHN is a collaborative project that complements the work of indigenous peoples globally to preserve, share, and manage cultural heritage and knowledge.”
Managed by the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University, the SHN is notable not only for sharing a rich set of online resources and an in-depth curriculum. The SHN partners have, since 2016, also run recurring in-depth workshops and provided lasting online workspaces to foster networks of indigenous cultural heritage practitioners through the Tribal Digital Stewardship Cohort program.
June Mazer Lesbian Archives
The Archives, originally called the West Coast Lesbian Collections, was founded in Oakland California, in 1981. Six years later it was moved to Los Angeles by Connexxus Women’s Center/Centro de Mujeres. The Archives acquired its present name after the death of June Mazer, in honor of her work as a community activist and invaluable supporter of the Archives.
The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives remains the only archive on this side of the continent that is dedicated exclusively to preserving lesbian history and to guaranteeing that those who come after us will not have to believe that they “walk alone.” The Archives is committed to gathering and preserving materials by and about lesbians and feminists of all classes, ethnicities, races and experiences. Included are personal letters and scrapbooks, artwork, manuscripts, books, records, newspapers, magazines, photographs, videotapes, flyers, papers of lesbian and feminist organizations, private papers, and even clothing, such as softball uniforms from the 1940s and 50s.
Hundreds of lesbians and feminists have been inspired to donate artifacts of their personal and collective histories. The Archives encourages all lesbians to deposit the everyday mementos of your lives so that others can discover them in the future. The privacy of any donor is protected to whatever extent she desires.
In 1989, the archives earned 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and received donated space from the city of West Hollywood, where it remains today. The mission of the Mazer Archives is to collect, preserve and make accessible lesbian, feminist and women’s queer history as a means of providing a link among all generations of lesbians; to develop social activities, educational events, opportunities and programs that promote historical awareness; and to provide research and resource facilities.
The all-volunteer staff of the Mazer Archives not only keeps the doors open, but also helps to make lesbian communities and others aware of our history through speaking engagements, the Archives’ newsletter, In The Life, (no longer in publication), and special programs and exhibits.
Values in Design
For over twenty years, Values in Design (VID) has been developed as both a theory and a method. VID research has analyzed a diverse set of technologies including human-computer interaction, robotics, mobile technologies, and web technology, and an equally diverse set of values such as privacy, trust, security, safety, community, freedom from bias, autonomy, freedom of expression, identity, dignity, calmness, compassion, and respect. Perhaps more important, VID means taking values into consideration in design practice — making it equally relevant to academics, technologists, and everyday people.
VID is a way of considering human life that explores how the values we think of as societal may be expressed in technological designs, and how these designs in turn shape our social values. In other words, technology is never neutral: certain design decisions enable or restrict the ways in which material objects may be used, and those decisions feed back into the myths and symbols we think are meaningful.
WITNESS: See It, Film It, Change It
WITNESS identifies critical situations and teach those affected by them the basics of video production, safe and ethical filming techniques, and advocacy strategies, making it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. Includes guides for activists to archive their work and training materials for activists working in the field.
Training for Change
Training for Change creates training and capacity-building resources for activists and other groups working on equity and social justice issues. Training material topics include Diversity and Anti-Oppression resources, Meeting Facilitation, Team-Building, and Organizing Strategies.