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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Black and white archival photo of the Ohnick Family, parents and four children

Japanese American family’s history now part of ASU Library archives

A new archival collection donated by a Japanese American family is now part of the ASU Library. The Ohnick Family Papers document the lives and experiences of a Japanese American family living across the American West in the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning in 1848, the collection includes corres...

Group of young Japanese-American ladies at Poston War Relocation Center, circa 1942. CP AWHC 126, Greater Arizona collection, ASU Library.

Fighting the Silence: Understanding the Japanese-American Student Experience during World War II

  Group of young Japanese-American ladies at Poston War Relocation Center, circa 1942. CP AWHC 126, Greater Arizona collection, ASU Library. I met Astha in the Fall semester of 2022 when she visited the Wurzburger Reading Room in t...

An archival black and white image of a group of people posed for the camera sitting in front and standing in back

ASU Black Collections symposium reimagines, centers communities in archives

A new archival repository within Arizona State University's Community-Driven Archives (CDA) Initiative will host a two-day hybrid symposium on Thursday, April 20, at Hayden Library on the Tempe campus and Saturday, April 22, at Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix.  The Black Memory and ...

Person looking at artwork on a wall

ASU Library exhibit honors work of former ASU art professor

In September 2019, Shannon Walker got a phone call from two faculty members in the Arizona State University Art Building. They told Walker there were boxes collecting dust in a storage area, and asked if she wanted to come over and look at what was inside the boxes before they cleared the room out....