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The Duke Endowment Libraries Cohort: Davidson College

Davidson College: Project at a Glance

At Davidson College, the existing Archives web-project Shared Stories: African Americans in North Mecklenburg was inaccessible and lacked item-level metadata resulting in limited community awareness of the website. We rebuilt the site using OmekaS, created descriptive metadata, added records to our online repository, and solicited feedback from families involved to improve public access to these invaluable records about and for Davidson’s black community.

TDEL Representatives

Jessica Cottle (she/hers), Archivist

Andrés Paz (he/his), Archives Fellow

Reassessing the Lifecycle of a Justice-Oriented Digital Humanities Project

Center an Image using text align center Historic West End Project Website

At Davidson College, there is a demand for access to archival resources openly recognizing legacies of enslavement and systemic oppression. A 2016 archives-led digital humanities project titled Shared Stories: African Americans in North Mecklenburg created a website hosting oral histories with black community members in response to noticeable gaps in our collections. We recognized the existing web platform was not accessible, there was a lack of crucial item-level metadata, and a limited community awareness of the project's existence.

Understanding the materials themselves are invaluable records of the lived experiences of Davidson's black community, we rebuilt the site using Omeka S, created descriptive and interpretive metadata critical to improving access for the public, added versions of these items to our online repository, and solicited feedback from descendants and living narrators. This process has taught us valuable lessons about the life cycle of a social justice-oriented digital humanities project (digital ethics) and highlighted ways to responsibly build community through more sustainable access to diversified archival resources.

  • Davidson College

    Davidson College

  • Furman University

    Furman University

  • Johnson C. Smith

    Johnson C. Smith

  • Duke University

    Duke University