In line with the Seamen's Church Institute's mission to promote safety, dignity and improved working conditions for mariners, the primary objective of this project is to record as many interviews as possible with veteran members of the merchant marine. Interviewees do not necessarily need to have sailed during times of war. In the project’s first two years, the majority of our interviews have been conducted with members of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Association (AMMV). Going forward, we are looking to expand beyond the AMMV, reaching out to retired or veteran workers who held jobs associated with waterfront commerce and maritime trade. The end product of the project will be a “digital memory repository,” basically a website powered by an archival software platform that will allow us to upload clips from interviews and display them alongside photographs and other digitized archival material so as to create a site for an oral history of the merchant marine. At its core, this project is about restoring the merchant marine to its rightful place within the historical record.

Exploring Zines

This project is an attempt to examine and understand the types of contextual information that can be drawn from zine collections while respecting the print culture from which they derive. Zines are self-published, DIY, few-of-a-kind publications. From personal reflections to political statements, zines are part of an underground, uncensored print culture wary of co-option from the outside. The act of creating and distributing a zine is integral to its existence; ultimately one cannot understand a zine without understanding its physicality. Instead of fully digitizing zines, we analyzed zine metadata content, visualizing the results. This provides a unique way of exploring the contexts of creation of these print objects, the ways zines have changed over time and across communities, and how zine collections are developed.

Archiving Occupy

Archiving Occupy Online social activism

The Archiving Occupy Project grew out of the Occupy Wall Street Movement after its first major action on September 17, 2011. Immediately, archivists realized the importance of gathering the multiple voices, stances, and perspectives of the movement in an ethical and viable way? The movement created flyers, images, news, videos, documents, publications, oral histories, sound recordings and ephemera on the fly, and was often streamed and lost immediately if not captured. This archiving project, which went live in April 2012, attempted to explore how to archivally approach a multifaceted and multimedia movement as it occurs. The goals were to give open access to all gathered information and artifacts, and to present them in the same way the movement presented itself (such as being on an open source platform with no copyright on data). The project was open to the public for contribution and comment, and presents a road map for how to archive future social movements.