The peculiarities of community archives : exploring the documentation of history and memory through digital archives and social media

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2020-12

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This work introduces community-based archives in the United States that practice archivist activism through the use of digital archives and social media to an academic and public audience. The archives presented in this study reveal successful efforts of archivists who engage with and record the stories of underrepresented and historically marginalized communities. In hopes of understanding the profound importance of community-based archives to the archival field and the field of history, this work presents an analysis on three community-based archives: ATX Barrio Archive, the Black Lesbian Archive, and the Texas After Violence Project. The mentioned community-based archives utilize social media and digital archives as a method of engaging with their audience, with intentions of projecting visibility and the survival of marginalized identity communities and individuals. The archives feature various materials that not only present events and experiences of gentrification, erasure, and violence, but also life, vulnerability, history, and memory. The focus in context aims to add to the discourse on the importance of community-based archives and post-custodial framework models, and furthermore aims to advance the way those in the archival profession understand the term ‘community.’

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