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Monday, April 23 • 10:00am - 10:20am
Personal Objects as Gateways to Community Memory (PDA & COMMUNITY MEMORY)

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Personal archiving is first and foremost an effort to preserve memories of the past. Through the preservation of photographs, documents, and other important personal objects, personal collections represent individual creators as well as the family and community groups they occupy. Community and participatory archives, in which community members contribute to archival collection, description, and preservation practices, are attempts to document their members’ individual and collective narratives.

The Mass. Memories Road Show is one such participatory archive project that works to “bring together local residents of all ages, ethnicities, races and backgrounds in lively and thoughtfully planned public events that celebrate each person's family history and contribution to the community” (Mass. Memories, 2016, p. 4). During Mass. Memories events, participants contribute photos that reflect themselves and their families in their community; those photos are digitized and video interviews documenting the story behind such photos are recorded.

The focus of our research are the stories behind the objects contributed to these community archives. Our research aims to explore the personal context of community archive participants by unveiling the stories behind the objects the participants contribute to the community archives. We believe that such research will allow for a nuanced understanding of the layers of memories created and fostered through participatory archive efforts.

To reach this nuanced understanding of the Mass. Memories participants’ narratives, we categorized the objects contributed and revealed themes from the experiences, memories, and sentiments evoked when participants discussed the objects. Our analysis results indicate that how people perceive and appraise their past life experiences and memories within the community (including their personal connections with the community, involvement with community events and organizations, reflection on community history, and their identity as a community member) has an influence on the formation of community and participatory archives.

The Mass. Memories Road Show. (2016). The Mass. Memories Road Show Project Handbook: A Planning Guide for Local Communities. Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts Boston, Joseph P. Healey Library.


Jeonghyun Kim

Associate Professor & Director of Digital Curation and Data Management Graduate Academic Certificate Program, University of North Texas
Jeonghyun Kim is an associate professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of North Texas, where she teaches Introduction to Digital Libraries and Digital Curation Fundamentals. She is currently serving as director of Digital Curation and Data Management Graduate... Read More →
avatar for Ana Roeschley

Ana Roeschley

Ph.D. Student, University of North Texas
Ana Roeschley is a PhD student at the University of North Texas. She has a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin, an MS in LIS and an MA in History from Simmons College. Ana's research interests include collective memory, participatory archival culture, and digital... Read More →

Monday April 23, 2018 10:00am - 10:20am CDT
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavillion University of Houston M.D. Anderson Library, 4333 University Drive, Houston, TX

Attendees (7)