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Publication: The Archive as Community

Project directors Patrick Collier and Jim Connolly have published an essay detailing some of the thinking behind EDLM as well as a bit about what we’ve learned.  Entitled “Everyday Life in Middletown: The Archive as Community,” it appears in Rebecca Wingo et al., eds., Digital Community Engagement: Partnering Communities with the Academy (University of Cincinnati Press, 2020).  The book is a collection of case studies of public humanities projects that do two things: engage with the wider community and employ digital tools and technologies.  As the volume’s editors explain, they assembled accounts of

“[S]uccessful partnerships between community partners and academic institutions—but with a twist. Each of the partnerships also includes significant digital components both inside and outside of university and college classrooms. We think that together the examples demonstrate a cohesive practice of digital community engagement, or what we fondly refer to as DiCE.”  The book includes chapters on Civil Rights history, an archive of police violence, and a storytelling project about California’s agricultural industry. We’re excited to contribute this pathbreaking book, which is available both in print and online.

In addition to explaining where the idea for EDLM came from, our essay lifts the hood on the project, documenting our methods and reflecting on what we’ve assembled.  We discuss the modes of thinking that diary writing encourages and take note of the creativity of our contributors.  If you want to find out more, our essay is here.  While you’re there, take a look at some of the other chapters so you can gain a sense of how digital technologies are reshaping the way universities engage with their communities. Or better yet, follow the link above and buy the book!