Transforming Outreach with Community Archives

Authors: , , ,


Big archives. Small archives. Community societies. Grassroot collections. Regardless of size and type, all archives work to preserve records that document the activities, history, and cultural heritage of their communities. The success of their efforts depends on funding, staffing, training, and other resources. It has been common practice for larger, well-funded institutions to support community archives by acquiring records through the traditional donation process. But that cannot and should not always be the process. This panel explores how four archivists have engaged in efforts to provide archival services at the community level. Topics examined will include the panelists’ successes and failures; the opportunities and ethical challenges presented when larger institutions work with smaller, underfunded archives; and the reasons why these professionals have decided to step across the unspoken boundaries between archives. Becca Smith will discuss the annual Day of Service volunteer projects by the Chicago Area Archivists over the past two years at both Pullman Historic Site and the American Indian Center. Sarah Dorpinghaus will present on free archives basics workshops offered to community-based organizations through the University of Kentucky. Sabrina Gorse and Rena Schergen will review archival volunteer service projects with professional archivists and graduate students in community archives throughout the St. Louis area.


How to Cite: Schergen, R. , Dorpinghaus, S. , Gorse, S. & Smith, B. (2019) “Transforming Outreach with Community Archives”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations. 2019(1).