The 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. The SHN, along with our Partners, organize and offer face-to-face workshops, produce educational resources, and link people and resources through our digital workbenches. The SHN is part of a network of individuals, communities, and institutions who work together to provide each other with digital tools and preservation assistance. We call this: Collaborative Stewardship.”

“The Sustainable Heritage Network.” n.d. Accessed October 8, 2018.


Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) is an open source platform and content management system for digital community archives. The name is a Warumungu word meaning ‘dilly bag’ or a safe keeping place for sacred materials. This grassroots project seeks to empower communities to manage, share, narrate, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways.

“About Murkurtu.” n.d. Murkurtu.

Research Ethics for Students & Teachers: Social Media in the Classroom

The Research Ethics for Students & Teachers: Social Media in the Classroom resource, developed by a FemTechNet initiative called the Center for Solutions to Online Violence, suggests basic guidelines for how to ethically study and use of social media in classrooms. It also includes a list of questions to pose to researchers and educators preparing to engage in social media research. While these guidelines don’t explicitly refer to cultural heritage and information systems, they provide excellent guidelines applicable to any partnership involving digital collections.

Digital Alchemists, and Center for Solutions to Online Violence (CSOV). 2016. “Research Ethics for Students & Teachers: Social Media in the Classroom.”

#transform(ing)DH Writing and Research: An Autoethnography of Digital Humanities and Feminist Ethics / Moya Bailey

Moya Bailey shares her experience collecting Tweets using the #girlslikeus hashtag and how she incorporates ethical practices when researching vulnerable communities, specifically trans women of color. Although this is not specifically a code of conduct, Bailey provides an explicit case study for how to be respectful, collaborative, and center a community’s needs over the researcher’s needs.

Bailey, Moya. 2015. “#transform(Ing)DH Writing and Research: An Autoethnography of Digital Humanities and Feminist Ethics.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 9 (2).

Plateau People’s Web Portal

The Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal is a collaboratively curated and reciprocally managed archive of Plateau cultural materials.  The materials in the Portal have been chosen and curated by tribal representatives. Each item has one or more records associated with it as well as added traditional knowledge and cultural narratives to enhance and enrich understanding to many audiences.

“Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal | Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal.” n.d. Accessed August 22, 2018.

LEEDh: Leadership in Engaged and Ethical DH Projects #d4d / Giordana Mecagni

Based off of discussions and her own contributions during the Design for Diversity Opening Forum, Mecagni produced these guidelines for Digital Humanities (and other disciplines) projects to work ethically and responsibly with communities, particularly marginalized communities.

Mecagni, Giordana. 2017. “LEEDh: Leadership in Engaged and Ethical DH Projects #d4d.” Giordana Mecagni (blog). October 20, 2017.

Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation / Kimberly Christen

This article highlights the importance of partnerships in digitization projects in relation to indigenous communities. While digitization and the advent of technologies that make information and items widely available, the groups, in this case indigenous communities, should always be consulted before items are made widely available in an effort to ensure that the item should be included online and that the appropriate description is included.

“In the last twenty years, many collecting institutions have heeded the calls by indigenous activists to integrate indigenous models and knowledge into mainstream practices. The digital terrain poses both possibilities and problems for indigenous peoples as they seek to manage, revive, circulate, and create new cultural heritage within overlapping colonial/postcolonial histories and oftentimes-binary public debates about access in a digital age. While digital technologies allow for items to be repatriated quickly, circulated widely, and annotated endlessly, these same technologies pose challenges to some indigenous communities who wish to add their expert voices to public collections and also maintain some traditional cultural protocols for the viewing, circulation, and reproduction of some materials. This case study examines one collaborative archival project aimed at digitally repatriating and reciprocally curating cultural heritage materials of the Plateau tribes in the Pacific Northwest.”

Christen, Kimberly. 2011. “Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation.” The American Archivist 74 (1): 185–210.

See also, Honoring the Dead: A Digital Archive of the Insane Indian Asylum by Stacey Berry