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Thursday, March 30 • 9:15am - 10:30am
Session 7: Documenting Cultures & Communities

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A Revolution Online and On the Quad: Capturing Student Activism at the University of Illinois (Anna Trammell, University of Illinois)

Online Grieving and Intimate Archives: a Cyberethnographic Approach (Jennifer Douglas, University of British Columbia)

Unveiling a Forgotten Time in Afghanistan: A Collaborative Personal Archives Project (Barbara Jenkins, University of Oregon)

Saving Hip-Hop! Documenting, Archiving, and Curating Hip-Hop Culture (Martha Diaz, New York University)

Presentation Details:

  • A Revolution Online and On the Quad: Capturing Student Activism at the University of Illinois (Anna Trammell, University of Illinois)

    When students at the University of Illinois protested the Vietnam War or organized demonstrations to highlight inequalities during the Civil Rights Movement, they communicated through flyers and underground newspapers. These documents, along with correspondence, photographs, and other physical materials, tell the story of these student activists and how they highlighted national injustices at the local level.

    Today, student organizations are forming at the University of Illinois in response to the inequalities experienced nationwide by students of color, shootings of unarmed black men by police and, most recently, the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. These activist organizations are publicizing protests through social media, issuing calls to action in the form of online videos, and coining hashtags to facilitate discussion.

    At the University of Illinois Student Life and Culture Archives, I am working with student activist organizations to capture, preserve, and share their digital records. In this talk, I will discuss my experience forming relationships and building trust with these organizations, capturing and processing their digital content, and utilizing these records in instruction and outreach.

  • Online grieving and intimate archives: a cyberethnographic approach (Jennifer Douglas, University of British Columbia)

    At the Personal Digital Archives conference in 2015 in New York, I presented a short paper discussing the archiving practices of a particular online community: the community of parents grieving stillborn children. In that paper, I explained how through the building of online grief communities (in blogs, message boards, community websites, through the use of Twitter hashtags, etc) bereaved parents found both an outlet for their grief and a means of remembering and sharing their lost children. I demonstrated how these communities functioned as aspirational archives, not only preserving the past, but creating a space in the world – a kind of present and future – for their deceased children. The paper I propose this year will discuss ongoing research on this project. It will present a particular case study of one mother’s digital personal archives, focusing on: the type of memory work performed online; the life cycle of online grief communities; and especially, the ethical issues associated with researching and archiving intimate and vulnerable online communities. Regarding the ethics of online research and archiving, the paper will introduce the methodology of cyberethnography and explore its potential connections to the work of digital archivists.

  • Unveiling a Forgotten Time in Afghanistan: A Collaborative Personal Archives Project (Barbara Jenkins, University of Oregon)

    For most Americans, Afghanistan is identified by the post-9/11 photos of U.S. soldiers in a stark landscape of war.  This digital project brings to life a different and forgotten time in Afghanistan (1950 – 1970).  The archive documents Afghanistan’s people, traditions, agriculture, and landscapes before decades of war.  It also tells the story of two decades of Afghan-American relationships focused on higher education and agricultural development and the American scientists and educators who made Afghanistan their home.

    The project was originally conceived as a single-family archive, but has evolved into a project that combines five families’ personal archives.  The collection combines over 4,000 slides, prints, negatives, letters, maps, oral histories, and primary documents. The presentation will focus on both the image-rich historical content and on the issues and technologies involved in digitizing large personal collections. The presentation will discuss the selection, organization, technical tools, and interpersonal issues involved in building a historic multi-family digital archive. I will discuss the use of social media for archival collaboration across generations and the decisions involved in transforming a family heirloom archive into an institutional collection.

    I initiated the development of this Afghanistan personal archives project in 2012 and was able to expand its scope through a short sabbatical supported by the University of Oregon in 2016. Upon completion, both digital and analog collections will be donated to the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center.

  • Saving Hip-Hop! Documenting, Archiving, and Curating Hip-Hop Culture (Martha Diaz, New York University)

    Hip-hop culture is undeniably an American treasure that should be studied, practiced, and   preserved. Hip-hop has contributed to the innovation of the arts, music, media production, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. A culture formed in New York City forty-three years ago out of poverty, violence, disenfranchised and marginalized communities, hip-hop continues to grow and expand with the creativity and energy of new generations. Today hip-hop is ubiquitously transmitted through radio, television, advertisements, music videos, movies, video games, social media, and the Internet. Hip-hop and the media play a critical role in our lives; they impact the way we form our identity and ideas, shape how we see others and the world around us, and influence our choices and consumer behavior. We rarely have public discussions around the importance of archiving and curating these audiovisual materials that are documenting and programming our existence. The real urgency lies in the fact that audiovisual formats are at a higher risk of obsolescence and the media content can disappear altogether through deterioration, poor storage and damage. Saving Hip-Hop: Documenting, Archiving and Curating a Global Cultural Movement will highlight key issues and best practices related to archiving and preserving hip-hop audiovisual material. The main purpose of this presentation is 1) Inform the community about the importance of archiving and preserving hip-hop culture. 2) Offer examples of institutional partnerships and collaborations that ensure hip-hop stakeholders are included in the current and future process of cultural preservation and programming. 3) Develop interest  in the archiving and preservation field and create opportunities for the hip-hop community to recruit future archivists and curators and play an active role in the documentation, preservation and interpretation of our own history.

avatar for Michael Olson

Michael Olson

Service Manager, Born-Digital / Forensics Labs, Stanford University Libraries
Michael Olson is the Service Manager for the Born-Digital / Forensics Labs at Stanford University. In this role he is responsible for building the service portfolio for materials that begin their life as bits and bytes.

avatar for Martha Diaz

Martha Diaz

Founder / Director, Hip-Hop Education Center
Martha Diaz is an award winning community organizer, social entrepreneur, media producer, archivist, curator, mentor, and educator. For two decades, Diaz has traversed between the hip-hop entertainment industry, non-profit sector and academia. She has worked in Hollywood and independent movie productions, producing short films, TV shows, documentaries, music videos, and PSA’s. Diaz founded, produced and curated the Hip-Hop Odyssey... Read More →

Jennifer Douglas

Assistant Professor, SLAIS, the iSchool@UBC
avatar for Barbara Jenkins

Barbara Jenkins

Director of Instruction and Campus Partnerships, UO Libraries
Education: 1982: Masters in Library Science, University of Chicago | 1978: Bachelor of Arts, Biology, Earlham College | 1977: Certificate of German Language Study, Marburg, Germany | Teaching/Service/Selected Publications: Presentations:"Interfacing with the Future," Northwest Innovative Users Group, 1997"WebPac Plus," Oregon Library Association, 1997."The Web in Your Front Yard," RUSA (Reference and User Services Association) Performance... Read More →
avatar for Anna Trammell

Anna Trammell

Archival Operations and Reference Specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Anna Trammell is the Archival Operations and Reference Specialist at the University of Illinois Archives Research Center/Student Life and Culture Archives. She holds an MLIS from the University of Illinois iSchool.

Thursday March 30, 2017 9:15am - 10:30am
Bishop Auditorium Lathrop Library, Stanford University 518 Memorial Way Stanford, CA 94305