The Biblioteca Amazónica: History and politics between the forest and city (Peru)
Host Institution - University of California, Santa Cruz
Project Lead - Amanda Smith, UC Santa Cruz; Sydney Silverstein, Wright State University; Ana Varela Tafur, independent researcher, poet, Iquitos native
This project will digitize rare documents of historical and cultural importance at the Biblioteca Amazónica in Iquitos, Peru. Founded in 1992, the public institution constitutes the second most important archive of Amazonian studies after the Biblioteca in Manaus, Brazil. Since the Amazonian Rubber Boom (1850–1920), Iquitos has been a centre of Amazonian culture and politics. The archive includes difficult-to-find publications on Amazonian culture and history, photographic and cartographic documentation, and magazines and newspapers on myriad topics.
South Asian film magazines (India)
Host Institution - Shabistan Film Archive
Project Leads - David Boyk, Northwestern University and Salma Siddique, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
This project will digitize several thousand film periodicals from India and Pakistan, which represent a crucial archive of postcolonial South Asian history. Alongside their coverage of the film world, these publications included poems, stories, political cartoons, and essays on political and social topics. In their pages, a wide variety of publics—fans, filmmakers, businesspeople, readers and writers of literature, and others—engaged with and contributed to the world of film and with a broad range of cultural and social questions. Almost all of these materials, even those that circulated most widely, are unarchived and in danger of disappearing.
Preserving and publishing the largest Afro-Uruguayan multi-media archive
Host Institution - Asociación Pro Fundación para las Ciencias Sociales
Project Lead - Diego Sempol, University of the Republic (Uruguay)
Archivo Sociedad en Movimientos aims to preserve and digitize the largest late 20th century archive of the history of the Afro-Uruguayan population, the personal collection of movement pioneer Tomás Olivera. The written, photo, audio and visual recordings are fragile and have not been properly stored which has caused serious deterioration. Digitization will facilitate access for academics, advocates, and lawmakers. This research establishes a baseline for preserving the material for further investigation, rewriting history curricula, and addressing the almost absolute absence of Afro-Uruguayans from all published archives.
Voices of pre-industrial Siberia: Collections of the Pushkin House (Russia)
Host Institution - University of Aberdeen (UK)
Project Leads - David Anderson, University of Aberdeen (UK); Svetlana Podrezova, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House); Dmitry Arzyutov, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden).
The project aims to digitize, contextualize and share a collection of tape recordings of indigenous people of the North kept at the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House). This large and unique collection of indigenous voices from the 1920s to the 1980s has never been professionally digitized, and is stored in poor conditions. This project will digitize the Siberian Arctic collection, document it by cross-referencing archival records, and digitally share the results both through new media technologies and visits to indigenous source communities.
Endangered archives from Sufi shrines of the Afghan-Pakistan frontier (Pakistan)
Host Institution - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (US)
Project Leads - Waleed Ziad, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Rustin Zarkar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries, in partnership with Peshawar University Librarians, will catalogue and digitize endangered archives of Sufi monasteries and shrines within the Pashtun tribal regions on the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier. These are unexplored collections revealing a rich sacred tradition in a region embroiled in one of the most brutal conflicts in recent history. This team will work at four religious sites in Waziristan, Peshawar and Malakand. Using a post-custodial model, the project will empower local stakeholders to preserve their collections, train them in digitization and cataloguing, and build preservation infrastructure for sustainable community-driven archiving.
The sound archives of Radio Rurale de Kayes (Mali)
Host Institution - Association des Radiodiffuseurs de Kayes (ARKDR)
Project Leads - Aïssatou Mbodj-Pouye, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France). Darrar Ben Zaour Maguiraga, Association des Radiodiffuseurs de Kayes (Mali)
Radio Rurale de Kayes, the first non-state radio of Mali, opened in 1988. In a peripheral region where local travel is difficult, the radio team engaged in intensive fieldwork to collect popular songs and oral traditions and record broadcasts. Operating mainly in vernacular languages, the radio covered local events and developed original programs such as literacy lessons and radio theatre. The aim of the project is to digitize the collection of audio-cassettes kept at the station, a unique cultural repository with value in Kayes and beyond.
Memory of Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST)
Host Institution - Casa Brasileira de Pesquisa e Cooperação (Brazil)
Project Leads - Jade Percassi, Casa Brasileira de Pesquisa e Cooperação. Clifford Andrew Welch, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) is one of the most significant social movements in Latin America history. This project seeks to preserve and share its memory through cataloging and digitizing a large collection of documents, photographs, publications, recordings and institutional records. These are severely threatened by two factors: The archive suffers deterioration through humidity and uncontrolled temperature changes in the basement of the MST’s national headquarters in São Paulo where they are stored. Political uncertainty in Brazil makes the archive vulnerable to sequester and destruction.
Queering Polish Memory
Host Institution - Fundacja Q (Poland)
Project Lead - Karolina Ufa, Fundacja Q
The systemic homophobia and instrumentalization of history for political purposes by populist and right-wing parties in Poland led in recent years to the exclusion of specific minority groups such as LGBTQIA+ communities from mainstream historical discourse. These factors and the relatively early stage of the LGBTQIA+ movement in Poland stand in the way of the creation of a public, accessible queer archive. The project aims to counteract the vulnerability of ‘queer memory’ and create the first comprehensive queer archive to preserve and present the under-documented history of Polish queer activism from the late 1980s.
Casa del Hijo del Ahuizote (Mexico)
Host Institution - Casa del Ahuizote
Project Lead - Diego Flores Magon, Casa del Ahuizote
Anarchism and other radical movements were repressed in Mexico, and materials documenting its history are both rare and fragile. This project will digitize and publish five collections: three relating to a forgotten anarchist group in the community of Melchor Ocampo in the State of Mexico, affiliated to the renowned Mexican anarchists, the Flores Magón brothers, exiled in the US; and two belonging to Enrique Flores Magón himself, and his biographer. The project will further Casa del Ahuizote’s mission to recover and make accessible neglected histories of Mexican emancipatory movements and provide digital backup of fragile materials.
Memory and identity of Afro-Brazilian archives
Host Institution - Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP)
Project Leads - Marcia Lima, Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP) and University of São Paulo (USP); Paulo Ramos, Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP) and University of São Paulo (USP)
This project seeks to enable access to neglected aspects of Afro-Brazilian memory through archives containing documents of Afro-Brazilian activism. The material encompasses three periods of Brazilian history: the onset of the military dictatorship (1964), democratization (the 1980s) and the deepening of Brazilian democracy (from the 1990s onwards). Digital access to this collection will enrich the understanding of the deterioration of democracy in present-day Brazil. This archive is endangered not only because of exposure to environmental elements like humidity, but also due to Brazil’s recent political climate wherein the administration has decreased funding to cultural and educational initiatives, with Afro-Brazilian communities disproportionately affected.
JADEAS Trust Archive (Nigeria)
Host Institution - UCLA African Studies Center (US)
Project Leads - Andrew Apter, UCLA (US); Yetunde Aina, JADEAS Trust Archive (Nigeria); Larissa Schulte Nordholt, University of Leiden (Netherlands)
The Jadeas Library Archive houses documentary material belonging to J.F. Ade-Ajayi, a ground-breaking Nigerian historian who rehabilitated African historiography during the period of decolonization. The materials, ranging from 1958–2007, include personal correspondence and manuscripts relating to the Ibadan school of history, and film pertaining to Nigerian cultures. Preserving the archive is of great importance both locally and globally as its resources are a testimony to the post-independence period in African academia. Opening it up to wider audiences would not only safeguard the material, but allow for researchers to bring together sources from across the world.
Curation and digitization of the Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara (Bolivia)
Host Institution - Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara
Project Lead - Denise Arnold, Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara (ILCA) and University College London (UK)
The Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara’s archive on the Aymara language and culture from the mid twentieth century to the present was collected in Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Materials include early pamphlets and newspapers, fieldwork recordings including speech and songs, fieldwork notes and transcriptions, documentation on Aymara regional variants, and teaching materials, some concerning intercultural bilingual education in Bolivia and elsewhere. Digital capture would make these available to other scholars, especially local speakers, when the Aymara language is becoming increasingly moribund.
Ustadh Mau Swahili Muslim Library (Kenya)
Host Institution - Leiden University (Netherlands)
Project Lead - Annachiara Raia, Leiden University
Mahmoud Ahmed Abdulkadir, locally known as Ustadh Mau, is an eminent poet and imam from Lamu island, Kenya. His private library houses Swahili Muslim manuscript poetry in ajami, and booklets and memoirs from the Middle East and India. Besides manuscript and print material, his library treasures include audio cassettes of his Friday sermons, delivered since 1986 from the oldest surviving mosque on Lamu. Mau’s Swahili poetry and sermons reflect on education, social justice, morality and piety; his memoirs narrate his thirst for knowledge and his social commitment. The project will enhance accessibility to an important Islamic heritage hub of Swahili intellectual history and poetic production.
Preserving Humun Bichig newspaper through digitization (Mongolia)
Host Institution - Monsound and vision foundation (Mongolia)
Project Lead - Bayasgalan Bayanbat, Monsound and Vision Foundation
The traditional Mongolian script was purged in 1941 as the people of Mongolia shifted to the Cyrillic alphabet under Soviet pressure. The project aims to digitize more than 900 editions of the Humun Bichig newspaper (the only newspaper still published in the traditional Mongolian script) covering the period 1992 to 2013, the original computer files of which have been lost due to fire in the newspaper’s office in 2013.
Rescuing two key series of the Old Prison Isla Teja Archive (Valdivia, Chile)
Host Institution - Universidad Austral de Chile (Chile)
Project Lead - Roberto Bosshardt, Austral University of Chile
This project will work with the two most important series in the archives of Isla Teja Old Prison of Valdivia, Chile: the Prisoners’ Book Records and the Prison Incident Logbooks. Containing key information for recent history and human rights violations, this unpublished and unknown material will be organized, classified, described and preserved by an interdisciplinary team from the Austral University of Chile in close collaboration with Gendarmería de Chile, the owner institution of these resources.
Historical memory of Brazil’s National Federation of Domestic Workers
Host Institution - Federação Nacional das Trabalhadoras Domésticas (Brazil)
Project Leads - Meg Weeks, Harvard University (US); Joaze Bernardino-Costa, University of Brasília (Brazil)
This project plans to organize and evaluate the archive of Brazil’s national domestic workers’ union federation, which includes materials documenting activities at the vanguard of Brazilian labour organizing. As a group that has been dramatically underrepresented in the historical record, domestic workers have much to gain from accessing their institutional memory. The archive will not only empower contemporary activists, but also shift historical narratives that have privileged certain voices over others.
The Lubumbashi Art Collection archive: Survey and evaluation (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Host Institution - Centre d'art Waza (DRC)
Project Leads - Sari Middernacht, Waza Art Center, Lubumbashi; Patrick Mudekereza, Waza Art Center
The survey project aims to build a robust catalogue of rare paper archives as a necessary step towards the larger digital and physical conservation and valorization of a Congolese art collection. Still present in its city of origin, Lubumbashi, this collection of approximately 9,300 works spanning the 1950s to the present forms a unique art historical and historical source from the late colonial and the postcolonial era in Congo. By promoting international and local accessibility of the collection and archive, the larger project ultimately aims to contribute to the rewriting of African art history.
Film censorship in Argentina
Host Institution - Asociación Civil Amigos del Museo del Cine “Pablo Christian Ducrós Hicken” (Argentina)
Project Leads - Ana Laura Lusnich, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET); Pamela Gionco, UBA; Paula Félix Didier, Museo del Cine
This team aims to survey, identify, catalog and make remotely accessible the Museo del Cine Pablo Ducrós Hicken’s clippings collection, selecting those materials related to the Ente de Calificación Cinematográfica (Film Censorship Committee), that was in charge of the revision and approval of scripts, films and releases in Argentina (1969–1984). These documents are newspaper articles, editorials, interviews, postcards and private notes. The project will also seek copyright holders’ authorization for future digitization and open access publishing of the documents.
Archivo Amé (Argentina)
Host Institution - Universidad Nacional de General San Martín: TAREA - Instituto de Investigaciones sobre el Patrimonio Cultural (Argentina)
Project Leads - Carolina Cappa, Elias Querejeta Zine Eskola (Spain); Julieta Sepich, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
This project aims to assess the mostly unknown visual archive of Bautista Amé (1889– 1973) who was born in Italy but worked from 1914 in the small town of Ingeniero Luiggi, La Pampa, Argentina. It is estimated to contain more than 50,000 documents in a variety of media, including photographs, paper documents, apparatus and the 1919 film ‘El pañuelo de Clarita’ (written and produced by Amé and directed by Emilia Saleny, considered one of the first films directed by a woman in Argentina). Stored in the family home and never assessed before, the archive requires immediate attention.
Preserving the Organization of Indigenous Doctors of Chiapas Collection (Mexico)
Host Institution - Micaela Icó Asociación Civil (Mexico)
Project Lead - Susannah Daniels, Women and Midwives’ Section, Micaela Icó Asociación Civil
OMIECH’s collection is housed in its central offices in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. It consists primarily of printed materials, in addition to videos, photographs, and visual didactic materials generated by OMIECH between 1985 and 2020. The materials document, and are the fruits of, an initiative of Tzotzil, Tzeltal and Ch’ol Maya medicine practitioners to revitalize, develop, systematize, disseminate and defend their medicine. The goal of this project is to preserve its history and the medicinal knowledge contained in its archives for local Maya communities and others.
The Kashmir Valley Archive (India)
Host Institution - Ryerson University (Canada)
Project Leads - Nathaniel Brunt, Ryerson University; Alison Skyrme, Ryerson University Library
The Kashmir Valley Archive is a visual history project examining the photographic history of the Kashmir Valley. The project consists of a diverse collection of rare photographs and videos of the region. The project members will create an item level finding aid, a set of samples images and videos, and a community-informed survey report about ethics, provenance, and access. The project seeks to build local capacity and opportunities for future digitization projects.
Visualizing Memory: Indigenous Resistance in Chiapas, Mexico
Host Institution - Americas Media Initiative (US)
Project Leads - Alexandra Halkin, Americas Media Initiative; Erica Wortham, New York University Libraries; Francisco Vazquez, Promedios de Comunicacion Comunitaria (Mexico)
Visualizing Memory focuses on the Chiapas Media Project (CMP)/Promedios archive held in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. CMP/Promedios was launched in 1998 as a Mexican-US collaboration to facilitate the production and distribution of audiovisual works through regional media centers built by Zapatista communities in Chiapas. These materials, representing two decades of Indigenous peoples’ struggle to achieve autonomy and dignity in the face of overwhelming obstacles, are at risk of being lost. The project will catalogue 1438 videotapes over 12 months, the first step in ensuring their preservation.
Recovering Pablo Salas’s visual archive on the Chilean dictatorship
Host Institution - Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano (Chile)
Project Leads - Andrés Estefane, Independent Scholar (Chile)
This project seeks to digitize, catalog and publish part of the audiovisual archive of the cameraman Pablo Salas (b. 1955), which contains nearly 1,800 hours of recordings of political and cultural activities of resistance to the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. These images were recorded between 1982 and 1989 and cover demonstrations, meetings, and experiences of political activism of the most combative neighborhoods and organizations under the years of military rule. The team’s goal is to make public material of undoubted historical value, currently stored on obsolete media and in precarious physical conditions.
Afro-Indigenous Brazilian struggles for recognition: Videos & photos
Host Institution - Nutes Institute of Science and Health Education, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Project Leads - Ana Lúcia Nunes de Sousa, Federal University of Rio de Janiero; Victoria Birkbeck, Enugbarijo Communications
This archive was created by independent artists from Rio de Janeiro, recording video from the early 1980s, as activists of human-rights movements, especially Afro, Feminist and Indigenous Movements. The resulting videotape archive spans two decades of socio-political history. The non-profit Enugbarijo Communications, founded in 1981, recorded the social movements of the 1980s that led to the 1988 re-writing of the Brazilian Constitution and continued their work into the 21st century.
Voices of marginalized communities in Egypt
Host Institution - Cotsen Institute for Archeology, UCLA (US)
Project Lead - Willeke Wendrich, Cotsen Institute for Archeology, UCLA
In the 1960s when the Aswan High Dam was built, the population of Egyptian Nubia was forcibly resettled in government-built houses in a rural area north of Aswan. An NGO in Cairo was a hub for protests against the governmental displacements and has preserved records of these in an archive that exists in one paper copy.
Digitizing vulnerable community-held archives of human rights in Colombia
Host Institution - The University of Liverpool (UK)
Project Lead - Claire Taylor, University of Liverpool
ArchiCom is a project led by researchers at the University of Liverpool in conjunction with civil society actors in Colombia who have documented stories of victims of armed conflict. These community-held archives of human rights are highly vulnerable and require urgent protection and dissemination. This project will help to identify and prepare material for digitization, both for its preservation and to make it accessible to researchers and human rights advocates in Colombia and beyond.
Elusive voices: Preserving the stories of elderly Palestinian refugees (Lebanon)
Host Institution - Carleton University (Canada)
Project Leads - Chris Trainor, Carleton University; Laura Madokoro, Carleton University; Hicham Kayed, AL-JANA (Lebanon)
Palestinians in exile are one of the most enduring refugee communities in the world. The proposed survey will lead to the digitization and preservation of 359 DVDs containing approximately 700 hours of interviews with elderly Palestinian refugees recorded between 2009 and 2015 in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts will undertake the digitization in Beirut, Lebanon, which works with marginalized communities and produces resources for children and youth. This project will ensure the preservation of the memories of refugee elders, which are becoming increasingly elusive.
Digitization of the folklore archive at Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature (Tajikistan)
Host Institution - Folklore Studies Program, George Mason University (US)
Project Leads - Benjamin Gatling, George Mason University; Boymurod Sharifzoda, Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature
This project will result in a survey, inventory and sample digitization of items from the folklore archive of the Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The archive’s holdings include bound notebooks, notecards, and loose-leaf papers documenting Soviet folklore collecting expeditions in the Tajik SSR and contiguous Persian-speaking regions from the early 1920s until the end of the Soviet period. The project’s immediate goals include conducting a survey and inventory of the materials, training in best practices, and purchasing equipment. The archive’s long-term goals include preservation and digitization of the complete collection.
Portrait photography in Cameroon: Studio Kameni
Host Institution - University of Bremen (Germany)
Project Lead - Martin Gruber, University of Bremen
Studio Kemeni is one of the few remaining archives of Cameroonian portrait photography, going back to the black-and-white era. The late founder Michel Kameni was one of the most accomplished and acclaimed photographers of his time. The images are not only an important example of a unique photographic practice, but also an irreplaceable archive of post-independence Cameroon. Approximately 100,000 negatives are stored in the deteriorating studio under precarious conditions. This project will get an overview of the archive and plan the future digitalization of the material.