Details on article

Id 628
Author Caswell M., Cifor M., Ramirez M.H.
Title to Suddenly Discover Yourself Existing: Uncovering the Impact of Community Archives 1

Caswell M., Cifor M., Ramirez M.H.; to Suddenly Discover Yourself Existing: Uncovering the Impact of Community Archives 1 ;American Archivist vol:79 issue: 1 page:56.0

Keywords Affect; Community archives; Impact; Representational belonging; SAADA; Symbolic annihilation
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Abstract Although much published work assumes that independent community archives have an important impact on communities, little research has been done to assess this impact empirically. This article begins to fill this gap by reporting the results of a series of qualitative interviews with academic members of one ethnic community regarding their responses to one community archives. More specifically, this article reports on interviews conducted with South Asian American educators regarding their responses to the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), an independent, nonprofit, community-based organization that operates the websites and The article reports on several emergent themes: The absence of or difficulty in accessing historical materials related to South Asian Americans before the emergence of SAADA; the affective and ontological impacts of discovering SAADA for the first time; the affective impact of SAADA on respondents South Asian American students; and SAADAs ability to promote feelings of inclusion both within the South Asian American ethnic community and in the larger society. Together, these responses suggest the ways in which one community archives counters the symbolic annihilation of the community it serves and instead produces feelings of what the authors term representational belonging. The article concludes by exploring the epistemological, ontological, and social levels of representational belonging. © 2016 Society of American Archivists.


DOI 10.17723/0360-9081.79.1.56
Search Database SC (Scopus)
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