National Participatory Archiving Survey Results Available Now!

Map of United States showing which states responded to the surveyDuring summer 2019, University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston conducted a survey about participatory archiving, or the process of collecting and preserving materials in partnership with community members. The results of the survey will inform the development of an online resource to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of hosting a participatory archiving event. The project is inspired by UASC’s Mass. Memories Road Show program and made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 

The survey results capture the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of libraries and other cultural organizations already doing participatory archiving events and those that are exploring the idea of hosting an event. UASC collected survey responses from 208 respondents representing 33 states and the District of Columbia: 123 libraries (public, private, university, and K-12), 46 cultural heritage organizations, and 25 government agencies, as well as other institutions. 

The survey reveals a great deal of interest in participatory archiving across the country. 

Approximately one half of the libraries surveyed already hosted a participatory archiving event. Ninety-five percent of these libraries found success in building community, engaging participants, and building collections through these types of events. To share materials gathered, libraries provided in-archive use to the public, posted them to their own digital repositories and social media, and/or shared them through a consortium website or state/regional repository. The survey revealed that many libraries are still learning how to preserve the digital assets they collect at participatory archiving events. 

A slight majority (55%) of libraries surveyed have not hosted or taken part in a participatory archiving event. More than half of these libraries rated their interest in holding such an event as very high. Most of these libraries cited community engagement and collections activities (building, diversifying, filling gaps) among their primary goals. To effectively host an event, these libraries reported the need for personnel (staff or volunteers), time, and guidance on various aspects of the participatory archiving process. 

UASC looks forward to addressing these needs and other gaps uncovered in the survey. In addition, UASC will seek feedback from survey participants on the online resource when it is launched later this year.  

The report analysis covers a range of topics including community outreach, digital aggregator repositories, and preservation practices from the perspectives of libraries. Responses from other types of cultural organizations are contained within the dataset that can be found in the appendix.

If you have questions about the survey or the IMLS-funded project, please email library.archives@umb.edu.

Click here to read the full report and to access the data set.

Click here to learn more about the grant-funded project.

About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Bookmark and Share

IMLS Grant Team invites participation in “Destination Preservation” survey

A contributor shares a photo with a volunteer to complete a form at a Road Show.

A contributor shows his photograph to a volunteer at the “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition.”

In 2018 University Archives & Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston launched a two-year project, “Destination Preservation,” thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The goal is to build an accessible, adaptable, and engaging “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of collecting and preserving materials in partnership with their community members. 

The project is inspired by the Mass. Memories Road Show’s (MMRS) success in documenting the history of the Commonwealth through personal photographs and stories. Directed by the MMRS team, the project also draws on the expertise of other leaders in the participatory archiving field throughout the United States. 

The project’s Core Team includes representatives from:

  • Boston Public Library; 
  • Digital Commonwealth;
  • Maine Historical Society;
  • Massachusetts Archives;
  • Metropolitan New York Library Council;
  • Newark Public Library;
  • San Jose State University; and
  • University of Massachusetts Boston.

In the first phase of the project, the goal is to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of libraries and other cultural organizations already doing participatory archiving events and those that are exploring the idea. 

Libraries are the intended audience for the roadmap, and the team seeks input from libraries in all regions of the country, from small, rural areas to large, urban ones and everything in between. However, a successful project promises to benefit an array of cultural heritage and community organizations. Therefore, the team seeks input from staff and volunteers representing a wide range of institutions committed to documenting shared cultural heritage, including archives, historical societies, museums, and cultural centers. To gather this information, the team invites librarians, archivists, museum professionals, historians, and others involved in cultural heritage work to share their perspectives through a survey.

The survey has between 31 and 75 questions (depending on your role and organization type) and requires about 35 minutes to complete. 

The results of this survey will inform the development of a suite of resources empowering libraries to plan participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve, preserve the resulting digital collections, and make those collections accessible to the public.

Follow the link to the survey here. Please share the survey with your networks and any stakeholders you believe may benefit from the eventual roadmap. 

If you have questions about the survey, would like to review materials as they are developed, or if you would like to receive a copy of the final results, please contact Sarah Collins (Sarah.Collins@umb.edu).

About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Bookmark and Share

Introducing Sarah Collins, new Community Archiving Grant Project Manager

Headshot of Sarah CollinsWe are pleased to announce that Sarah Collins joined the University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston as Community Archiving Grant Project Manager.

Sarah comes to UASC most recently from the New England Aquarium where she worked in interpretive planning, exhibit and program evaluation, and visitor experience. She is an experienced strategic planner and collaborative leader; during her time in Washington, DC, Sarah held project manager positions in education policy nonprofits as well as for the Administrative Office of the US Courts.

She will be putting these skills to good use helping to build on the success of the Mass. Memories Road Show. Through a grant from the Institute for Museums and Library Sciences, UASC will create an accessible, adaptable, and engaging “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds and sizes through the process of planning event-based participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve. Sarah is thrilled to be helping libraries across the country empower their communities to add their personal stories to the archives.

Sarah received her undergraduate degree in international relations and her master’s degree in museum studies with a concentration in history from the George Washington University.

Welcome to UASC, Sarah!

Bookmark and Share

Participatory Archiving Project Manager

Contributors and volunteers at the scanning station at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show

This photograph shows a contributor with volunteers at the scanning station at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show, held in 2017.

University Archives and Special Collections in the Healey Library at UMass Boston is hiring a Project Manager to coordinate all aspects of the development of a “Participatory Archiving Roadmap,” as part of a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The funded two-year project involves building an accessible, adaptable, and engaging online “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds through the process of planning event-based participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve. This is a two-year, full-time benefited position.

WHAT: Project Manager

WHEN: Open until filled

 

About this Position

The University Archives and Special Collections department in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston received a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a two-year project to build an accessible, adaptable, and engaging online “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds through the process of planning event-based participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve. Read more about this grant here.

The interactive online roadmap will help libraries implement standards- and community-based participatory archiving programs and will be flexible enough to allow libraries to enter at their current point of need, helping them navigate the complexities of community partnerships, digitization event planning, and long-term digital preservation and access to support the vital work of documenting their communities’ cultural heritage.

The successful candidate will work directly with core project team members, national community partners, and others to ensure that the Library adheres to grant project goals and meets project deliverables. The Roadmap Project Manager will report to the Project Director and will coordinate with Healey Library staff and external colleagues as appropriate to ensure all aspects of the multi-faceted project are compatible and are successfully executed in a timely manner. The Roadmap Project Manager will also be responsible for supervising a 12-month, part-time instructional designer who will assist with the design and development of the roadmap.

The Healey Library is looking for a creative and dedicated individual who will fit with our university’s and our department’s collaborative culture. The ideal candidate will have previous experience supervising and delegating tasks to 2 or more people and in managing projects in cultural institutions, library and archives environments, and/or in academic settings. Candidates who enjoy working with other professionals engaged in community-focused library and archival work are encouraged to apply.

Examples of Duties:

  • Facilitate activities of core project team members through all phases of the grant project, including coordinating meetings, preparing agendas, leading workshops, and focus groups.
  • Work with identified local and national community partners to develop survey instruments to solicit both structured and informal feedback on grant project activities.
  • Supervise project-funded Instructional Designer in developing key project deliverables.
  • Track grant project performance, specifically to ensure the successful, on-time completion of short- and long-term goals as identified and outlined by the Project Director and by Healey Library administration.
  • Prepare regular reports including grant-required reports on project progress

Skills and Experience:

  • Previous experience managing medium- to large-scale projects
  • Excellent critical thinking, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to build strong networks with external constituencies
  • Superb analytical skills, as applied to both historical content and organizational process
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively
  • Demonstrated experience with successfully employing project management techniques and tools
  • Experience assisting with the development of survey instruments
  • Proficient, working knowledge of Microsoft Office, especially Microsoft Excel
  • Strong planning and organizational skills with ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Proven ability to work independently while exercising good judgment in seeking appropriate guidance
  • Detail oriented
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree preferred.

Read more about this grant and about the Healey Library’s work fostering community archiving programs.

For more information and to apply for this position, click here.


About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Bookmark and Share

Healey Library at UMass Boston Receives $275,000 to Expand Community Archiving Programs Nationwide

Attendees and volunteers wearing purple event t-shirts at the Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show

Contributors with volunteers at the information station at the Chinese American Experiences Mass. Memories Road Show in June 2018.

The Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce two funding awards: a $25,000 grant from the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund, and a $250,000 National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). These awards will enable Healey Library, a pioneer in participatory archiving programs through its long-standing Mass. Memories Road Show, to build a suite of resources empowering libraries and cultural heritage organizations nationwide to lead their own community archiving programs and document the unique cultural heritage of their community members.

The LYRASIS Catalyst Fund award, launched in June 2018, will support the production of a video describing the Mass. Memories Road Show program and the development of a suite of online training materials to support libraries in the production of “personal archiving day” events with their communities. Healey Library expects the video and the training modules to be publicly available online by summer 2019.

Contributors and volunteers at the scanning station at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show

A contributor with volunteers at the scanning station at the Nahant Mass. Memories Road Show in 2017.

The IMLS award, launched in October 2018, will fund the development of a broad “roadmap” to guide libraries of all kinds through the process of planning participatory archiving programs with the communities they serve as well as in preserving the resulting digital collections and making them accessible. The roadmap, developed in close collaboration with archives and digital preservation experts and with a nationwide network of partners, will help libraries navigate the complexities of community partnerships, digitization event planning, and long-term digital preservation and access, all in support of the vital work of documenting their communities’ cultural heritage. Healey Library’s partners in the roadmap development include representatives from the Maine Historical Society, the Digital Public Library of America, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, the Massachusetts Archives, and the Boston Public Library. The roadmap is scheduled to be completed by fall 2020.

These two projects, taken together, will allow Healey Library to leverage its standing as a national leader in the participatory archiving movement to expand and enhance the capabilities of all libraries, regardless of size or available resources, to engage in and lead these vital community archiving initiatives themselves.

Six people in front of a graffiti painting.

Volunteers and contributors at “Show ‘Em Whatcha Got” Mass. Memories Road Show: The Hip-Hop Edition, which was held at the Boston Public Library in May 2018. Nearly 300 digital images were collected and 60 video interviews were recorded in one day as part of this event.

Libraries are critical community hubs, and these two projects will enhance their ability to bring together diverse participants and to leverage librarians’ unique expertise as information professionals to anchor a community’s collective memory. By helping libraries implement archival preservation standards and best practices, build effective partnerships with their communities, launch successful community archiving events, and navigate channels for publishing and preserving cultural heritage materials, Healey Library, LYRASIS, and the IMLS can ensure the longevity of and access to diverse cultural heritage materials, particularly from groups who might never before have been able to elevate their stories to a national audience. Libraries throughout the country will be able to use these resources to partner more effectively with their communities in preserving and sharing the unique, valuable stories that document our nation’s collective cultural history.

Carolyn Goldstein, Public History and Community Archives Program Manager at Healey Library and Project Director for the IMLS and Catalyst awards, explains, “Community archiving events are a way of collectively telling and preserving a community’s story. Participatory archiving programs are opportunities for community members to add to the historical record photographs and stories that are important to them. These two grants will enable our team to share what we’ve learned from producing the Mass. Memories Road Show for fifteen years, and to collaborate with archival and library colleagues to assess the need and create a set of resources that will empower libraries around the country to document and preserve their communities’ histories and make them accessible.”

“To directly invest in our community of libraries and archives, the LYRASIS Catalyst Fund allows our members the chance to explore their groundbreaking ideas that will help the library and archive landscape at large,” explains Mary Meyer of LYRASIS. “We are very proud to support the Healey Library in its  Online Instruction for Participatory Archiving’ project and are excited about the wide impact this effort will have in sustaining cultural heritages in communities across the country.”

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

For additional information about these projects, please contact: Patricia Bruttomesso, Archival Collections Project Manager, at Patricia.Bruttomesso@umb.edu or 617-287-7696.


About the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston

UMass Boston logoThe Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston plays a leading role in the dynamic culture of teaching and learning at Boston’s only public research university, while also supporting the campus’ commitment to urban and community engagement. University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Healey Library collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service. UASC is committed to working with, promoting, and assisting community archives in the Greater Boston area and beyond through facilitating cross-organization collaboration and access to informational, educational, and practical resources relevant to archival procedures and best practices. Check in with Healey Library’s news and collections through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Logo for the Institute of Museum and Library ServicesThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

About LYRASIS

Lyrasis logoLYRASIS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization whose mission is to support enduring access to the world’s shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and knowledge communities worldwide. LYRASIS is home to more than 1,000 member academic and public libraries, museums, archives and other collections-holding organizations located in 28 countries. The Catalyst Fund is a program administered by LYRASIS and Leaders Circle members. The Fund is designed to foster new ideas that will benefit the archive, library, and museum communities. Catalyst Fund awards support LYRASIS members as they test and try innovative approaches to advance their field.  

Bookmark and Share