RBMS 2020
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RBMS thanks Jonathan A Hill, Bookseller for sponsoring this Sched.
Thursday, June 25 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Fight the Power: Amplifying Student Histories and Decentering the Archivist

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This participant-driven session will explore methods for decentering the archivist in pursuit of empowering students to manage and preserve their own histories, within or without a traditional university archives. Three archivists from Princeton University will guide the session, briefly sharing their own attempts to collaborate with and empower the Princeton student community through the My Princeton Oral History Project. The bulk of the session will consist of a facilitated discussion with participants based on the following questions:

• How can we better empower students to preserve their own histories?
• How can we as archivists build trust with disenfranchised community members?
• How can we effectively capture and preserve student stories while maintaining and respecting this trust?

Other themes include addressing the power dynamics of traditional archival practice and collecting strategies, building cultural competencies as partners rather than administrators, identifying and addressing institutional roadblocks towards collection development change, and advocacy and outreach to students and other community members. We welcome discussion on other ways of being better partners to our community members without imposing ourselves within these communities. We also hope to hear back from participants about projects at their own institutions that model a decentered-archivist approach, and will facilitate a zine-making party and report-out at the end of the session so that these ideas and resources can be shared with the larger group.


Valencia Johnson

Project Archivist for Student Life, Princeton University


Annalise Berdini

Digital Archivist, Princeton University

Amanda Ferrara

Public Services Project Archivist, Princeton University

Thursday June 25, 2020 11:00am - 12:30pm
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