Posts Tagged collaboration

SwissPeace Joint Venture on Archives Dealing with the Past

The Swiss Peace Foundation (or simply SwissPeace) recently began a new project called Archives and Dealing with the Past.  It is a joint venture between the foundation, the Swiss Federal Archives, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.  The project mandate is to offer a hub between archivists/documentalists and human rights activists dealing with the past.   Members of the ICA Human Rights Working Group serve on their Advisory Board.  Consequently, one aim of the project is to foster knowledge exchange between the two professional communities (of archivists and activists) and engage in knowledge management activities.  In fact, SwissPeace reached out to the ICA HRWG Directory Project last month and discussions to converge on parallel projects are taking place.


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Segregation Era Documents Project

A project is underway to preserve African-American history in the state of Virginia.  The Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE) project, spearheaded by Old Dominion University archivist, Sonia Yaco, is enlisting help from the public in collecting historical material such as oral histories and photographs.  An article from a local paper in Richmond, Virginia, claims that civil rights history in the state has largely been neglected in schools across the state…

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Archivists without Borders Opens US Chapter

ImageAs an advocate for archives activities in guaranteeing the recognition of human rights, AW is excited to spread news regarding the expansion of Archiveros sin Fronteras (AsF).  As seen in this message posted by ArchivesNext, this is of particular interest to American archivists:

Dear fellow archivist,

It is with great excitement that we announce the release of the first half of the proposal to form a U.S. Chapter of Archivists without Borders. This portion of the proposal, which includes Background and Mission Statement, will be open for comment until May 31, 2012. You can find the full text to these sections on our website: To contribute your comments on these two sections, please use the comments feature on our website. We are currently working with Archives without Borders International to draft the remainder of the proposal. Please be patient as we work diligently to push these additional sections out for your input.

As members of the archival community who have expressed interest in the vision Archivists without Borders promotes, your contribution is vital. The comments you make will shape the direction of this organization. We welcome your ideas for the organization’s potential, criticisms of the wording, alerts to unanticipated implications, and questions about how we currently envision this chapter functioning.

We are also pleased to announce that you can now follow AwB-US on Twitter (@AWB_US) and on Facebook:

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

AWB-US Core Working Group

Joel Blanco-Rivera
Erin Faulder
Jasmine Jones
Mario H. Ramirez
Amanda Strauss
Adam Zimmerli

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Politics of Memory Conference on Guatemalan National Police Archive


On December 1-2, the University of Texas at Austin (UT) hosted a conference as part of its collaboration with the Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala, or the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional (AHPN). The interdisciplinary conference marked the unveiling of a UT-hosted digital archive that will serve as an on-line digital repository for millions of documents from the Historical Archive of the National Police in Guatemala. The conference considered how use of the Archive has helped to deepen understanding of Guatemala’s history, and to advance human rights, both crucial to strengthening Guatemala’s embattled democracy…

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ICA Human Rights Archives Directory

For some years now, the ICA Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) has been trying to establish a directory of human rights archives from around the globe.  This summer, I began volunteering with the ICA HRWG as project co-director on their directory project.  In case you are not aware, the directory project aims to build on-line directory of (1) archives that identify themselves as human rights archives and (2) archives that are part of a human rights organization and are open to the public.

In collaboration with the other project director, the indispensable Tessa Fallon, Web Collection Curator at Columbia University Libraries, and under the guidance of ICA HRWG chair and experienced American archivist, Trudy Huskamp Peterson, we have compiled data on such organizations and institutions based on the ISDIAH standard.  This past week, Tessa has built a beta version of the online platform from which our compiled data can be shared and disseminated.  Yesterday, on October 25, Trudy presented the site to members of the working group and the ICA during the annual CITRA 2011 conference in Toledo, Spain.

We invite you to view this site and welcome any suggestions or comments you may want to share with the project staff through the site.  If you know of an organization/archives that should be included in the directory or if you feel that your organization’s archives belongs in this group, please do not hesitate to contact us.  You may also contact me through this blog regarding the project or the project’s new web platform.

Go to ICA HRWG directory project site

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Guantánamo Public Memory Project Update

As of September 1, Elizabeth Silkes (Executive Director of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience) and Elazar Barkan (Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University) have announced that their respective organizations, will lead the Guantánamo Public Memory Project.  The Coalition first launched the Guantánamo Public Memory Project in 2009.  They knew that building a public memory of this site’s complex history would require a multi-dimensional approach with the collaboration and involvement of many different stakeholders including scholars and practitioners.

Since the project’s inception, the Coalition has:

  • mapped over 1,000 resources on the history of Guantánamo – from books to video footage to art to oral histories – and the archives, organizations and individuals around the world who own them
  • researched and identified 90 individual stories of diverse Guantánamo experiences and developed a sample of multi-media portraits showcasing some of these stories
  • working with Picture Projects and Tronvig Group, developed an initial web prototype for the project
  • created a blueprint for the project available as a publication

Last April, the Coalition and ISHR brought together over 100 historians, artists, archivists, activists, and others to discuss and debate the next phase of building a public memory around the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay.  In this convening it was decided that the Guantánamo Public Memory Project will be housed at ISHR and led by a committee of partners including the International Coalition, coordinated by the International Coalition’s Founding Director Liz Sevcenko.  This new structure will leverage the resources of Columbia University and ISHR’s new Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability to continue to move the project forward. In the coming year, project aims include the development of the following:

  • Guantánamo Public Memory Project beta web platform, shaped by the feedback many of you have provided on the web prototype, featuring a digital history exhibit; oral histories of refugees, detainees, military personnel, and others with diverse experiences of the base; forums for the latest news on Guantánamo, the latest work of partner organizations, and how people can participate
  • an extensive on-line research resource, integrating documentary, bibliographic, image, video, oral history, and other collections of partner organizations around the world
  • a National Exhibit and Dialogue connecting 8 universities across the country; students collaborate to produce an exhibit on Guantánamo’s history to open at New York University in December 2012 and travel to participating university galleries across the country, accompanied by public dialogues in each community
  • multi-media curricula for high school through university

Silkes and Barkan invite those whom have been integral throughout the development of this project to continue to share their time, resources and knowledge, and stay involved by emailing Liz Sevcenko and the project team at

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A Human Right – Council of Europe urges UN to take on Internet Freedom

As a former student of modern information topics like the digital divide, privacy, and net neutrality, this news piece from the Guardian comes as no surprise.  It has been a long time coming.  If we are to look at the history of the Internet, it’s creation was founded on egalitarian principles of equal access and later, during its early years, as an outlet for free speech and even cyber-activism.

Is it inevitable that with the pervasive quality of the various social media outlets on the Internet today affecting the international political landscape that the United Nations would take notice?  The Council of Europe‘s commissioner for human rights, Thomas Hammarberg, believes that the UN should do more to urge political actors to engage actively in this debate that they consider global.  The debate surrounds the question of media censorship as outlined by the organisation, Article 19.  The Council wants the UN to take up the gauntlet on protecting media freedom and privacy issues online.

Despite the fact that such hopes to find solutions which can regulate the Internet at all, even on a national scale, have mostly remained an elusive Utopian dream, this is a positive step.  Such an international collaboration among IGO bodies to raise more awareness among the political realm could only lend legitimacy to what has mostly just been the fanciful ideals that freedom of expression and diversity should be allowed to exist on the Internet.

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