The Community Archives Center at Tacoma Public Library: Phase 1 Report

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This report describes the Phase I activities and outcomes of The Community Archives Center for Tacoma, which is a two-year IMLS National Leadership Project (LG-250126-OLS-21) being carried out by the Tacoma Public Library (TPL) with support from the University of Washington (UW). The overall purpose of the project is to bring community members and organizations together to carry out a fully participatory process to broaden participation and inclusion within cultural heritage collections. Phase I goals of the project were to finalize the project’s approach, build relationships with community partners, and engage community members in co-design workshops. These co-design workshops were designed both to identify design criteria for the Community Archives Center and to identify stories and material for inclusion in the Archive. Section 1 of this report describes the major activities carried out in Phase I to achieve these goals, and also lists resources generated to support those activities. These resources can provide useful templates for other libraries interested in implementing a community archive. Section 2 then describes lessons learned and recommendations from Phase I. These include the importance of engaged partners, best practices for building relationships with partners and community members, best practices for workshop design, and the importance of flexibility within community archive projects. Section 3 then summarizes research findings from Phase I co-design workshops. Key themes emerging from these workshops include the importance of developing and implementing a participatory approach; the power of framing community archiving as a process of developing personal connections to history; and descriptions of community priorities for what stories are told within the workshop. Finally, the report concludes with a large appendix that contains further reading and resources to support community archive projects.

Recommended Citation

Young, Jason, Trammell, Anna, barrow, dindria, Cifor, Marika & Jowaisas, Chris (2022). The Community Archives Center at Tacoma Public Library: Phase 1 Report. Tacoma Public Library.