3 Replies to “Digital Repatriation as access : many voices, many approaches.”

  1. I find the concept of repatriation to be particularly interesting when it comes to what access the communities want to attribute to items pertaining to them. It was refreshing to look at the articles about the Koorie Archival System and the Mukurtu Project to see how these archivists actively worked with these historically marginalized communities to both produce a digital archive with the community’s input, while also working to repatriate digital items that other institutions may hold. My concern is with the institutions that hold the original content, and if they are providing access to the public that is seen as appropriate by the community that created it. The Australian tribes discussed in the readings had certain rules on who could view certain items in the collections, so I wonder how many institutions are honoring the wishes of the communities of the items they have in their possession. This is particularly troubling when the items were not acquired directly from the community, so there is no donor agreement laying out the wishes of the creator. Thanks for bringing up the LOC’s project on Native American Recordings. It’s great to see that they are actively reaching out to the Native American community to provide access to these materials, and I hope they are also working with the community to get their approval on what items that the LOC can provide to the general public.

    1. Its interesting, because a lot of these records have a dual nature. Because much of these resources with information pertainant to a group may be included in other record sets. So say an American Geological survey employee jots down local names and some fragments of language they heard. Well on one hand they are heavily useful records for reclaiming cultures but on the other hand, they are also institutional records. So finding an easy place where these records can be split could be difficult. However the nice thing about digital repatriation is that you can err on the side of giving all of it.

  2. @Swschmitz84
    (I’ve got a nasty sinus infection, so this reply will be sorter than I’d like) I too find it refreshing to see as much community input in LOC projects as we often do. The native community is certainly involved, and many of the other collections involve partners in the community as well. For example, there is a Tibetan prayer wheel in the Asian reading room of the LOC. According to the librarian I met there because they have the largest Tibetan collection outside of Tibet the Dalai Lama sometimes stops by, and they turn it on. When he does, they take any suggestions he has on the collection. However, I find many of the websites for projects that include community involvement are a little sparse on the details on precisely how their imput is taken into consideration.

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