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.
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.
Enhancing Description to Make African American Materials More Discoverable / Katie Rawson & Trevor Muñoz
This study path will ask learners to replicate the methodology/follow the model described in Dorothy Berry’s case study “Digitizing and Enhancing Description Across Collections to Make African American Materials More Discoverable on Umbra Search African American History” in order to better understand the value and values of additional description in surfacing materials from marginalized groups.
Introducing Critical Race Theory to Archival Discourse: Getting the Conversation Started / Anthony Dunbar
An excellent introduction to and definition of key terms such as critical race theory, microaggression, and social justice, clearly linking those terms to core archival concepts and processes such as how one defines and structures an archival “record”.
“This article introduces the application of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to archival discourse in order to demonstrate how such a critical and analytical approach can help identify and raise social and professional consciousness of implicit racial bias. To demonstrate the potential of CRT, the paper discusses how the terminology and methodological structures of CRT might be applied to some aspects of archival theory and practice. The paper concludes that CRT can contribute to a diversified archival epistemology that can influence the creation of collective and institutional memories that impact underrepresented and disenfranchised populations and the development of their identities.”
Umbra Search African American History
Umbra Search African American History “makes African American history more broadly accessible through a freely available widget and search tool, umbrasearch.org; digitization of African American materials across University of Minnesota collections; and support of students, educators, artists, and the public through residencies, workshops, and events locally and around the country.” Umbra brings together metadata and items from across archival collections, and thereby helps surface items related to African American history that may not be well-cataloged in physical format, and therefore less find-able in the physical collections. Umbra is also notable for its robust outreach program.
We are excited to also host a case study based on author Dorothy Berry’s work at Umbra: Digitizing and Enhancing Description Across Collections to Make African American Materials More Discoverable on Umbra Search African American History.
Community Inquiry Self-Reflection / Susan Barrett
This study path asks learners to research the history of a local community and develop outreach strategies, and could be conducted as a small group or individual activity.
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.
Creative Reaction Lab
The Creative Reaction Lab is a community and equity focused project in St. Louis, Missouri, that develops training materials to work collaboratively with communiy members to design “healthy and racially equitable communities.” The Lab has created an Equity-Centered Community Design Field Guide as well as a Community Design Apprenticeship program, among other resources, to support this work.