Following the Women’s March held in Chicago and other cities on January 21, the Newberry began collecting protest signs and personal accounts from the people who took to the streets. While the Newberry’s collection contains plenty of materials documenting activism in history, this is the first time the library has collected such materials in the moment. In this episode of “Shelf Life,” we talk with archivists Martha Briggs and Catherine Grandgeorge about how and why they’re crowdsourcing an archive of modern protest.
2:02 – Since issuing the call for Women’s March ephemera, what kinds of materials has the Newberry received?
3:17 – Whether or not this collecting initiative has brought the Newberry collection its first selfies.
4:49 – How to build an archive that represents different political perspectives.
6:22 – Anticipating the ways in which future researchers will consult the protest archive as a collection of primary sources.
12:01 – The challenges of archiving and preserving born-digital materials, especially from social media.
13:20 – When it comes to thinking about future generations of users, what set of obligations do archivists have?