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Open Access Publications from the University of California

#staywoke: Using living archives to build bridges to the future by reflecting on our past

  • Author(s): Rhodes, Tamara
  • Myers, Rachel
  • Singh, Gayatri
  • Garcia-Spitz, Cristela
  • et al.
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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License

According to Maya Angelou, “the more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.” Knowledge of that history along with direct action organizing can oftentimes create significant change. In the academic environment, it can make students, particularly underrepresented students, aware of their own power in order to alter existing structures that don’t benefit or represent them. In April 2016, in response to political chalkings that targeted underrepresented students and the subsequent student discussions regarding the lack of support and representation on campus, the UC San Diego Library began Tell Us How UC It: A Living Archive. The purpose of this project is to provide the narrative of UC San Diego’s history of student activism to foster and contextualize a conversation about the ways students experience UC San Diego’s campus climate. The living archive format can be used to support, document, and engage social movements in any community by presenting an historical narrative, featuring community perspectives through all manner of creative work, and including in-the-moment feedback to the theme, event, or topic. The UC San Diego Library presented the project as a physical exhibit with accompanying events - workshops and classes, and an online collection using Omeka, a free and open-source platform. The development of the living archive required the expertise of and collaboration between multiple people and departments in the library and campus community. This poster will discuss the living archive concept, considerations for creating a living archive and digital exhibit, lessons learned, and the collaborations that were created from it.

Presented at Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, Albuquerque, NM September 26-30, 2018.

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