Community-Driven Archives Initiative

Engage, educate and empower!

Established in 2017 with the support of Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ASU Library’s Community-Driven Archives Initiative seeks to:

  • Build strong relationships with historically marginalized communities (Latinx, Black, Asian and Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and LGBTQ).
  • Work with Community Archivists to redefine the traditional definition and function of an archive.
  • Center the lived experiences and knowledge of community members.
  • Create intergenerational and intersectional safe spaces that reimagine archives and support lifelong learning.
  • Acknowledge historical trauma and support healing projects led by the communities who are breaking cycles of erasure.
  • Advocate for equal ownership of archives and shared stewardship responsibilities by providing free access to archival collections and library resources


In order to share untold stories and history, ASU Library seeks to digitize and make publicly accessible existing archival collections from the Chicano/a Research Collection and Greater Arizona Collection. The following collections have been made accessible on PRISM.

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Two people sitting next to each other at a table looking at archival materials

Supporting the next generation of BIPOC community archivists

The ASU Library is embarking on a three-year project to nurture the next generation of community archivists currently attending community and Tribal colleges. With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, a $534,975 grant will establish the...

Myra Khan

Archiving Advocacy and Legacy - Myra Khan

I have always been a strong believer in the power of learning and legacy in activism. If we do not look to the strengths and weaknesses, the successes and failures of our predecessors, the hurdles before us become that much more difficult to surmount. Whether we fight for feminism, anti-racism, LGBT...

Five people sitting and standing with a bookshelf behind them

ASU Library archives initiative receives prestigious Archival Innovator Award

The Community-Driven Archives Initiative has been named a 2022 recipient of the Archival Innovator Award by the Society of American Archivists. The award recognizes creative approaches by archivists, repositories or organizations that have an extraordinary impact on a community through archives prog...

1925 yearbook photo

Photo album sparks discovery of ASU's first female African American graduate

Michele Neptune McHenry and her husband, Joseph McHenry, were slowly making their way through the photo album when they came upon the photos and name card. The card, gray in tone, was about 1-by-2 inches. On it was a name: Miss Stella McHenry....