What is the Future of our Past? Spring Archives Sojourners Tackle One of Life’s Biggest Questions
Friday, May 16, 2014
Posted by: Caitlin Sarro
The creativity, insight, and passion of the past 50 years of ICA’s community development work is overflowing in hundreds of filing cabinets at ICA GreenRise. This May, over 30 ICA colleagues in Chicago and globally spent two weeks wrestling with the question: “How can the wisdom of the past be harnessed and made accessible to new generations?” The archives room was alive with the sojourners reconnecting with each other and forging new connections with current ICA staff.
Beret Griffith remarked, “This time it felt like staff was part of what was going on and that was really fun. They bring another dimension to this work … It’s really like it has turned a corner...[which] gave us the impetus to really get some stuff on the road in a way we hadn’t before.”
The sojourners used online broadcasts to connect with remote colleagues. Long time archivist Sally Fenton said the sojourn this time was very exciting because “there was a chance to work with people you hadn’t worked with before, “there were virtual victories,” noted Paul Noah.
Working teams crafted contemporary titles for ten collection groups and finalized content and assets for six of them. As colleague Jean Long explained, “We made new wineskins for old wine. We have taken collections and programs and put them under titles that make more sense to people today.” The teams carefully selected ten archival assets for each collection, then digitized and published them. Site visitors can interact with each other through a dialogue forum in a comments section.
Reflecting on the sojourn, new staff member Jennie Flores Broadhurst shared, "I really appreciated the sojourners' hospitality and I especially enjoyed hearing stories about how they accomplished so many things together, all over the world. Just having them here to learn from was invaluable. I can't wait until they release the online collections!"
ICA thanks the following colleagues for participating in the soujourn:
Are you interested in participating in the global archives project? Contact Marge Philbrook by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
Loren WeybrightMarge Philbrook
Mary Laura Jones