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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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. ...

Rashida Scott

Black Collections are Essential to the Learning Community - Rashida Scott Blades

Arizona State University (ASU) has over 559,300 alumni and has educated thousands more through certificate programs. With the continuous expansion of ASU, thousands more will be educated and have access to the library resources that ASU offers. This means that there has not been a B...

Two women wearing masks sitting at a table talking and looking at photographic slides

Help Community-Driven Archives preserve diverse stories

For too long, most people have not been able to have their stories and history reflected in archives. “Seeing yourself in history, probably for the first time, and then reflecting on it leads to personal and collective healing. We humanize ourselves and others when we work with arch...

bell hooks, January 1999 (Margaret Thomas/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Idea: A reflection on bell hooks through ASU’s Black Collection - Rashida Scott

    “Whether the issue is ending racism, sexism, homophobia, or class elitism, when I interview folks about what leads them to o...