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.

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.

User Participation and Democracy: A Discussion of Scandinavian Research on System Development / Gro Bjerknes and Tone Bratteteig

Excellent introduction to the history of and philosophical underpinnings of Scandinavian participatory design, a foundational movement for current participatory design, values in design, and critical technical practice movements. Notable for emphasizing the political nature of the practice of participatory design, in that in its beginnings it was seen as a method for democratizing the workplace. This article, written in 1995, suggests that a move towards ethics de-emphasizes the political aims of earlier participatory design projects, and that political (i.e. social justice) aims should be re-introduced. An excellent reading that will expose systems designers to the long history of participatory and user-centered design that would be well-paired with more recent readings that incorporate additional intersectional analyses, allowing system designers to contrast the Scandinavian emphasis on a class analysis (through a focus on the democratic rights of workers) with later work incorporating race, gender, and disability.

Bjerknes, Gro, and Tone Bratteteig. 1995. “User Participation and Democracy: A Discussion of Scandinavian Research on System Development” 7: 27. https://aisel.aisnet.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1165&context=sjis.

Indian Arts Research Center

The Indian Arts Research Center is a division of the School for Advanced Research, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution established in 1907 to advance innovative social science and Native American art. Since 2010, the Indian Arts Research Center has “pioneered a radically participatory approach to the stewardship of its Native American art collection” through initiatives such as its Native American Artists Fellowships and extensive, no-cost programming for the Native Community. The IARC also led the development of the excellent Community + Museum and Museum + Community guidelines, created through a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders and artists.

Democratizing the Digital Collection: New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage / Jane-Heloise Nancarrow

“Three-dimensional modeling and printing of museum artifacts have a growing role in public engagement and teaching—introducing new cultural heritage stakeholders and potentially allowing more democratic access to museum collections. This destabilizes traditional relationships between museums, collections, researchers, teachers and students, while offering dynamic new ways of experiencing objects of the past. Museum events and partnerships such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Hackathon”; the MicroPasts initiative; and Sketchfab for Museums and Cultural Heritage, encourage non-traditional methods of crowd-sourcing and software collaboration outside the heritage sector. The wider distribution properties of digitized museum artifacts also have repercussions for object-based and kinesthetic learning at all levels, as well as for experiential and culturally sensitive aspects of indigenous heritage. This article follows the existing workflow from model creation to classroom: considering the processes, problems, and applications of emerging digital visualization technologies from both a museum and pedagogical perspective.”

Nancarrow, Jane-Heloise. 2016. “Democratizing the Digital Collection: New Players and New Pedagogies in Three-Dimensional Cultural Heritage.” Museum Worlds; Oxford 4 (1): 63–77. https://doi.org/10.3167/armw.2016.040106.