Integration: Why and how to address integration with national digital collections initiatives?

Friday and Saturday, October 20-21, 2017
Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm
Saturday, 9:00am-1:00pm
New York University: King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center 
53 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012

This forum will focus strategies and recommended practices for community archives to integrate with national digital initiatives. Community archives are traditionally and understandably very independent entities, generally serving single communities and growing out of necessity because of exclusion. How do we begin to think about integrating community archives collections, organizations, and projects with national digital initiatives while allowing for the individuality and independence of those entities to continue to flourish?

These are critical conversations that will require sensitivity to cultural protocols, traditional practices and local conditions governing collection, preservation and access to community archives materials. The forum will provide a safe space for those conversations to take place.

As funding agencies such as IMLS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and national digital cultural heritage projects like DPLA and the HathiTrust move toward more collaborative approaches to providing access to digital cultural heritage, it’s the ideal time to community archives to begin to strategize ways to integrate with these efforts. Presenters for this forum will consist of representatives from funding agencies, national digital collections initiatives, traditional libraries and archives and community archives.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The forum will be livestreamed and we will encourage Twitter conversation using the hashtag #DDHR4. The previous forums used the hashtag #DDHR1, #DDHR2 and #DDHR3.

Day One – Friday, October 20, 2017

8:00AM Registration/ Breakfast

8:30-9:00 Welcome

9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Plenary Panel

“Lest We Forget”: Community Archives, Civil Rights and Social Justice
Present-day socio-economic disparities and the current political climate while fraught with social unrest serve as teachable moments and reminders that the struggle for social justice is as relevant today as it was in our past. Similarly, contested histories and growing questions of who and what deserves commemoration also offer opportunities for the public to engage in a national dialogue about collective memory and how our past is remembered. For cultural institutions large and small, such interrogations into past struggles for equality have facilitated the necessity and growth of digital resources for the research, teaching and interpreting of civil rights.
This panel will showcase current social justice and civil rights historical documentation initiatives. Demonstrated projects will run the gamut from those, which are defined as global and digital humanities related in scale to those, which are focused on storytelling and personal narratives. At its conclusion, the resulting session will place each community effort at framing the story of the social justice movement into a larger national digital collective.

Thai Jones
Herbert H. Lehman Curator for American History
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Columbia University

Margo Schlanger
Henry M. Butzel Professor of Law
Director, Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
University of Michigan Law School

Julie A. Herrada
Curator, Joseph A. Labadie Collection
University of Michigan Special Collections

Kimberly E. Springle
Executive Director
Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives

Kelly West Figueroa-Ray, M.Div, M.A.
Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies
Civil Rights as Theological Drama Digital Project
University of Virginia

Maggie Schreiner
Archivist, New York University
Organizer, Interference Archive
Librarians and Archivists with Palestine

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15- 11:15 Panel Session II

Addressing the Great Digital Divide: Strategies for Integrating Community Archives into the National Digital Landscape.

In the face of emerging digital partnerships as varied as digital consortia, national portals or digital libraries, cultural heritage institutions have aggressively increased their resource and strategic planning investments into national digital integration. However, for the community archive, concentrating often-limited and uncertain resources into large-scale digital platforms remains a daunting and distant goal. This panel session, comprised of representatives from leading digital initiatives will review their past approaches to integrating community archives and discuss their current goals for increasing proactive digital inclusion and literacy among them.

Sandra Aya Enimil, JD, MLS
The Ohio State University Head, Copyright Resources Center University Libraries

Cecily Marcus, Curator Givens Collection of African American Literature
Principal Investigator, Umbra Search African American History
University of Minnesota Libraries Archives & Special Collections

Kelcy Shepherd
Manager, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

John Voss
Director of Strategic Partnerships Initiative

Kerri Willette
Deputy Director and Empire State Digital Network Manager
Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)

Dr. Nicholas Wolf
Data Services, Bobst Library, New York University
Chair, Hathi Trust Collections Committee

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-12:30 Panel Session III

When Town meets Gown: Developing a Collaborative Culture between Community Archives and Academic Libraries

Do academic archival repositories have an obligation to sustain the history of the local communities, which surround them? For small community archives, as federal budget cuts to funders such as the NEH and NHPRC threaten financial health, could university partnerships offer increased resources and opportunities for achieving organizational stability?

There is convincing evidence as demonstrated by current successful partnerships (i.e Black Metropolis Research Consortium and the DC Africana Project) that academic libraries can play a prominent role in helping community archives shape their history and build resource capacity. However, historical tensions and perceptions of inequity between a university and its community can serve as a daunting barrier to building trust and forming collaborative partnerships.

As academic information professionals, this panel will share their approaches to engaging community archives in a way that is mutually beneficial for the university and the community. The panelists will also offer lessons learned in developing a collaborative outreach framework within their library and suggestions for achieving strategic community outcomes.

Mary Caldera
Head of Arrangement and Description
Manuscripts and Archives
Yale University

Stacie Williams
Team Lead, Digital Learning and Scholarship
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dalena Hunter
Librarian, Ralph Bunche Center for Black History
University of California Los Angeles

Aruna Magier
Librarian for South Asian Studies
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
New York University

Maureen Callahan
Sophia Smith Collection Archivist
Smith College Special Collections

12:30- 1:45 PM Lunch On Your own

1:45- 2:45 PM Panel Session IV

Social Justice Skilling the Information Student: Pedagogical approaches to training for community archives advocacy
Given the recent need for increased responsiveness and advocacy regarding community archives, both current and future information professionals are faced with creating a convergence of outreach approaches, which resist othering and engage the diverse populations reflected in the communities we serve. In order to address these needs, how do LIS educators extend their teaching and learning strategies to create a dynamic and informed professional community that supports social justice advocacy, cultural competency and connectedness to community?

This panel of educators will engage in an open dialogue, which explores LIS education as a social justice platform. Participants will share their own personal approaches to teaching advocacy. Additionally the conversation will investigate gaps in LIS education involving community awareness and seek solutions which negotiate and align traditional information science programs with the current social climate in order to develop a social justice perspective among LIS students and foster collaborative partnerships with community archives to inform graduate research projects.

Dr. Ellen Noonan
Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of History
Interim Director, Archives and Public History Program
Department of History
New York University

Dr. Michelle Caswell
Assistant Professor of Archival Studies
Department of Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Anthony Cocciolo
Interim Dean and Associate Professor
School of Information
Pratt Institute

Nicole A. Cooke, PhD, MEd, MLS
Assistant Professor
MS/LIS Program Director
The iSchool at the University of Illinois

Ricardo L. Punzalan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Maryland College of Information Studies

2:45-3:00PM Break

3:00- 4:00 PM Panel Session V

“All that we are and ever hope to be”: Community Archives Imagining and Embracing Digital Integration in its Many Forms

By the 2nd Diversifying the Digital Forum in New Orleans, the message was clear.

The struggle for community relevancy in the digital public sphere is real!

Managers laboring in community archives have overlapping concerns of achieving digital competency along with definite goals of national digital integration. However, depending on the community and their available resources, as a collective, these shared goals can be simultaneously conservative and progressive. With everyone facing challenges in their quest for digital integration, truly realizing the dream of “Diversifying the Digital Historical Record” will involve numerous and unique paths. Here we are at our fourth and final forum. We get it. Sure digital integration offers the burgeoning community archive increased accessibility, maximized public value, and the promise of sustainability. But where does the money and time for integration come from? And what about the ever-changing world of technology! Best practices offer guidance but sometimes those are short-lived. A community archive needs pragmatic solutions that work.

This final panel of the day will prove that no struggle for digital integration is done in vain or isolation. We will begin with the reason why we all do what we do…The researcher. What digital sources inform their work? Continuing panelists from local community archives will describe digital access tools used in their shops. Traditional tools such as portals will be covered as well as alternative tools such as digital storytelling, blogging, social media, mapping, and animated archives. The panel concludes by drawing on organizational experiences to propose digital pathways to community relevancy.

Maggie Schreiner
Archivist, New York University
Organizer, Interference Archive

Dr. Regina Duthely
Assistant Professor of English Literature
Author of “Black Feminist Hip-Hop Rhetorics and the Digital Public Sphere”
University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, Washington

Tamara Thompson
Archives Manager
Brooklyn, New York

Lanae Spruce
Manager of Social Media and Digital Engagement
Office of Public Affairs
National Museum of African American History & Culture
Washington, DC

Chialin Chou
Associate Curator of Archives and Global Networks
Storefront for Art & Architecture
New York, NY

Lindsay Wittwer
Digital Archivist
Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Library and Archive
Hunter College
City University of New York

Day One Closing Remarks.

4:00PM-5:00PM Reception

Day Two – Saturday October 21, 2017

Community Archives Knowledge Café
Maximize your experience and learnings from Friday’s panels with sessions where you can network and brainstorm with community archivists and professionals who will offer new insights, strategies and best practices for digital integration.

Forum day two will consist of small interactive sessions focusing on community archive networking, project next actions and sustainability. We will begin with a networking breakfast followed by knowledge café session. Using facilitators and brainstorming these conversations will be held in the NYU King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center’s auditorium theatre and a suite of meeting rooms for concurrent sessions. Attendees will have the opportunity to customize their experiences and select from discussions most relevant to them.

Discussions will inform the Diversifying the Digital Historical Record white paper which will be shared publically in 2018.

9-9:30 am: Community Archive Networking Breakfast and News Exchange (KJCSC Atrium and Auditorium)

Please join us for a light breakfast and opportunity to meet forum participants and exchange news. An “open mic” will be available with two-minute time slots for attendees to highlight their community archives projects.


A1. Fake News and False Narratives: The Importance of Community Archives in the Era of Post-Truth (Room TBA)
This knowledge café explores the role of the community-based archive in a world where the search for truth in information and history is an ever-growing challenge. Questions posed during open dialogue include:
Unburdened by the social constraints and political bureaucracy faced by traditional heritage institutions do community archives offer a more authentic history?

Is anyone with a social media account or blog an activist archivist?

What makes a community historian an expert or credible?

A2. What goes up, must come down. Or Should it?: Towards a truly Diverse Digital Historical Record (Room TBA)

In this tense social climate of contested memorials and anti-commemoration, as memory keepers and archivists what is our idea of a diverse historical record? How do we determine who and what should be remembered about our communities in the future?

When planning a digital memory space what should we collect and share with our audience?

This knowledge café is a brainstorming session devoted to addressing gaps and marginalizations within the digital historical record. Outcomes will include strategies for collection development and a digital documentation plan for the future.

10:30-10:45 Break


B1. No Community Left Behind: Developing Support Systems for Digital Diversity and Inclusion (Room TBA)
In this knowledge café participants will address how a lack of collaboration between community archives and larger cultural heritage institutions proliferate divides and inequalities in digital society.

Topics include:

How structures of power in digital society generates digital illiteracy and inequality.

How to cultivate an awareness of community archives among funders.

Overcoming bias and stereotypes of community archives.
How creation of open source tools reduce digital inequality

B2. Building Digital Competence: Keeping Community Archives Up with the Digital Jones’ (Room TBA)

Digital platforms are everywhere, but cutting through the red tape and finding the tools that are most applicable to meeting your organization’s objectives can be difficult. In this knowledge cafe you will interface with professionals who are have experience planning for digital projects. Working together, you will develop some questions to consider before you even contact or contract with a vendor, ways to find resources, and the importance of a back-up alternative plans that work for you.

11:45-12:45PM — Forum Wrap up and Closing Remarks (Auditorium)

This closing session will include a discussion of upcoming deliverables and sustainability of the project.
Other topics include:
Roles participants can serve now that the forums have concluded
Possible Collaboration with other existing projects.
Next steps in assuring the sustainability of this project.
White paper and dissemination of project findings.