Creating a Digital Community Archive

Tips for Creating a Digital Community Archive 

  • Define your Community Archive, what is it about? Write a mission statement that clearly spells out the archive’s purpose and its collection’s focus. Spend some time researching your topic to see if an archive with the same focus has already been created. 
  • Consult local community and university archives in your area for advice. Most archivists are happy to meet with and discuss the value and challenges of creating a community archive. We also suggest you consult an “Archivist Toolkit.” Several have been developed to help you plan your digital community archive and most are free to use. 
  • Outreach to other community members that might be interested in creating an archive and have knowledge of the community and can spread the word. Growing a collection is successful when relationships are prioritized. 

New to Community Archives? Try these sites first:

Project Stand: Archiving Student Activism Archivist Toolkit
Creating and Growing Community Based Archives
Community Archiving Workshop 
Documenting the Now  
Digital Preservation Coalition

Digging Deeper? Take a look at these!

Community Archives, Community Clouds: Enabling Digital Preservation for Small Archives
Memory Lab Network 
XFR Collective 
NEDCC Personal Digital Archiving Webinar
Archivist in a Backpack

International Resources and Perspectives (in English):

Preserving Community Archives (UK)
Sustaining Community Archives: Where practice meets theory (New Zealand)
A Starter Kit for Community Groups (Australia)

Recursos en Español

Archivo Comunitario LA COVID-19 | Los Angeles Public Library
Archivo histórico Casa Pueblo: Un modelo de autogestión comunitaria
Archivistas en Espanglish - Recursos
Los archivos comunitarios en el contexto español -  Another Roadmap
Preservación Digital Comunitaria

A Few Examples of Digital Community Archives

South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)
Veteranas and Rucas 
Digital Transgender Archive
Loss/Capture Project
Black Beauty Archive
A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland