Though the origins of community-driven archives go back decades, since 2013 the SHC has cultivated four archives pilot projects explicitly devoted to community-driven archives, on a model that provides for a three- to five-year project life cycle.
Guiding current community-driven projects through a complete life cycle and sharing the resulting products, is a key goal of this proposal.
Learn more about our four pilot projects:
The ASHC emerged from a Vanderbilt University student group founded in the 1960s. As students, group members provided healthcare to underserved, rural Appalachian communities. In partnership with founding ASHC members, the SHC has developed an active alumni network and is crafting a sustainable, long-term archival home for their organization’s materials. Flowing from conferences and the creation of an advisory group, the ASHC website houses a digital humanities project that includes mapping, timelines, and archival material regarding rural health initiatives, student organizations, and related areas of politics and the environment. Collating collections with Vanderbilt University and gathering scattered material has significantly enhanced access to materials that were previously invisible. A cooperative fundraising venture is underway to raise $50,000 in support of the project’s long-term goals.
HBTSA grew from a coalition of town partnerships, to a mayors’ conference, into a regional initiative promoting historic preservation in Southern black communities. Foundational work in HBTSA communities include a document rescue event, primary source instruction with high school students, an archives survey, town hall style meetings (charettes) and training for the development of local community archive projects.
Our engagement with HBTSA is ongoing and unfurling in unexpected ways. The highly successful Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration hosted in Durham in the Spring of 2018 was a direct result of multiple UNC departments working with HBTSA over the years and our collective enthusiasm towards finding more academic and community partners across the country.
EKAAMP is a public humanities project that documents and preserves the history of twentieth-century African American diaspora from eastern Kentucky. Working closely with an established network of current and former residents, EKAAMP honors the place of African Americans in Appalachia and ensures that their stories are available to posterity, scholars, and the general public. In partnership with Community Liaison Dr. Karida Brown, we curated a traveling EKAAMP exhibition, Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia, that was on exhibit at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University (May-December 2016).
The SAAACAM mission is to collect, maintain, disseminate and interpret a digital database of authentic community-based African American history. The SHC model frequently uses collections of oral history interviews as starter material for potential community archives. In this case, interviews surrounding the Sutton family and the civil rights history of San Antonio led rapidly to a call for an independent community archive and museum of African American history in that city. The SHC was sponsored by the Kronkosky Foundation and San Antonio Spurs to facilitate a conference of community leaders, citizens, activists, preservation professionals, academics, and funders. This charrette was designed to collectively envision the possibilities for an African American Community Archive and Museum, and the SHC continues to serve in an advisory role to the project, providing leadership, training, and applied knowledge.