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Conceptualizing a Digital Project From start to finish

Posted on behalf of Arianne Hartsell-Gundy and Hannah Rozear

A group of librarians at Duke are a thte beginning stages of creating a digital project about “hidden” student activism at Duke. We would like to talk hrough our process and hear other people’s experience with doing similar projects.

Play with tools to archive tweets, instagram posts and other social media

NCSU has a list of tools to archive social media. Anyone want to experiment with these with me?


Notes for this session: http://bit.ly/1oQIxdo

Helpful notes from Jason Casden:

Quickest path:


Potential next step (might be too much for this session):



Archives are not neutral. What do we do with that?

If archivists and librarians want to genuinely engage with activist communities, we need think deeply, critically and humbly about how our institutions are positioned culturally, socially, economically and in relationship to institutional power.

Of course, archivists have been doing this introspective work for years. In this session, I would like rehearse some of those arguments particularly in light of contemporary campus activism but also in light of new surveillance techniques. What can archivists do to ethically and thoughtfully develop an accurate record of what is happening while remaining sensitive to concerns and critiques?

Opening Dialog Between Activists and Archivists

In this session, I would like to have a conversation about how to open dialog and build relationships with activists, activist groups and activist communities. Activist work and community organizing are difficult and time consuming and archiving might be difficult to prioritize. How can people who work in cultural memory be helpful rather than distracting?

Also, what does it mean for archives and archivist that so much contemporary activist work is deeply intersectional and networked rather than being led by centralized organizations?

While I think it would be good to simply have this conversation, we might take it as a goal to finish the session with a list of suggestions we could share with our own professional networks.

Activistm + Social Media

Let’s talk about archiving social media!

Share your advice and experience, or come to learn what other have done to archive activist social media. Recent activist movements such as the Occupy Movement, Black Lives Matter, the Baltimore Uprising, and college campus activism have had a significant social media presence. An increasing number of collections have started to incorporate activist social media as a record of these movements.

Web archiving and social media research suggests that the collection development may be the most difficult part of collecting social media. This is also doubly difficult due to the sensitive nature of some activist events. Together we can identify and discuss areas of concern such as:

– what tools are most common for harvesting social media content?

– How do you determine what exists online to collect?

– How do you scope an activist collection?

– How do you identify all relevant social media on a topic?

– What have others already collected on a topic?

– Do activists have an expectation of privacy when using Social media?

– getting permission to provide access to social media content, especially when activist groups may not have intended their social media

content for long-term research use.

– Is consenting to long-term access important for archival provenance?

– How do you provide access to large social media datasets?

– Reasonable expectations of privacy

– Right to be forgotten

– Is social media copyrighted, and what does it mean if it is?

The discussion can be lead by your interests–what do you want to learn?

Archives as Process, Not Place – Talk/Teach

I was recently at the Society of NC Archivists meeting in Charlotte, and Kate Collins’ tweet has stuck in my head:

Archivists worry about preserving things for the future – which means we need a place for the things – but of course it’s the work that we do that preserves those things and that can be so meaningful to members of our communities.

I would love to hear people’s thoughts, non-archivists especially! What do “archives” and “archiving” mean? What kinds of partnerships with archivists interest you? What materials do you want to save as evidence of your work? For archivists, let’s dismantle a bit of our closed-stacks thinking. What would it mean to be working in a community? How can you serve communities and improve the flow of information and evidence from generation to generation? This might turn into a teaching session, too – if there are questions about physical handling or  archival theory, we can get into it! Let’s explore what archives as process looks like.

Crypto-Party: let’s install privacy protection on ourphones!

Hi all, I’d be interested in installing some software on my phone or laptop that helps protect your computer or phone from surveillance.  Anyone want to join me?  I’ve never done this before, so we can install the software together. Here’s one for phones:


Here’s one for computers generally:


Here’s Kate Krauss talking about the surveillance of activist groups such as Black Lives Matter by the FBI (Code4Lib 2016 in Philly):