Participatory Archives


This article explores how concerns about the democratization of representation and new technologies has shaped practices for collecting, organizing, preserving, interpreting, and circulating media. It outlines a participatory process of archival development informed by the emerging field of digital public humanities (DPH) and our research on the history of participatory media-making in the United States. We begin by tracing the development of Participatory Media, a digital and public project that collects and presents 1960s and 1970s film and related material. We then turn to how the project is shaped by DPH. We conclude by explaining how the history of participatory media can help DPH scholars understand both the strengths and limits of the contemporary turn toward participatory archival practices.

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Copyright © 2017 Archive Journal. The article first appeared in Archive Journal (August 2017).

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