On community-driven archives and the development of a partnership: how the SHCs first got connected

Biff Hollingsworth, Collecting and Public Programming Archivist with the Southern Historical Collection, provides important context to the development of a partnership with the Coalition. He explains that at the same time Coalitioners first started to explore restoring and preserving their story, the SHC (Southern Historical Collection) was amidst their own pursuit of community-based participatory collecting practices via documentation of the history of Black families in the South. This new approach to archives, especially as it regards working with historically under and/or misrepresented people in the historical record, was very much reliant on practices that later became essential to the SHC’s partnership with the Coalition: building trust between communities and institutions, shifting the decision-making model, and thoughtfully navigating power dynamics. Biff credits the SHC team at the time, including Holly Smith, Tim West, and Rachel Canada, with making initial connections and pursuing a similar project with the Student Health Coalition. Follow this link for access to the full-length panel discussion with the Websters.

Recorded December 2022.