This essay discusses our work on the digital archive, The Fight for Knowledge: Civil Rights and Education in Richmond, Virginia, which grew out of our five-year documentary theater project at the University of Richmond. We include the voices of six collaborators—students, a special collections librarian, a digital archivist, and faculty members—to closely examine the multiple archives that have grown out of this project, and the way this has led us to propose a new way of thinking both about archives and about our documentary theater methodologies. This collaborative process has helped us to reconceptualize the relationship between archive and theater and enriched our thinking about both archive creation and documentary theater practices. Our hope is to inspire critical questions about history, memory, and justice—to make sense of the lived experience of interviewees through archival materials and to make sense of archival materials in the context of personal history.

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This article is part of a set of perspectives for the publication "An Archive, Public Participation and a Performance: Five Perspectives."

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Copyright © 2013 Syracuse Unbound. This article first appeared in Public: A Journal of Imagining America 1:1 ( 2013), 1-15.

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