Help Community-Driven Archives preserve diverse stories

Published March 14, 2022
Updated April 7, 2022

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 archives and share our stories,” said Nancy Godoy, Director of the Community-Driven Archives (CDA) at the ASU Library. Your support can continue to preserve and build a collection where everyone’s story is documented.

“The BIPOC and LGBTQ community in Arizona has experienced and survived so much generational trauma. We need to empower communities who have historically been memory keepers but they haven't been included in traditional White institutions who preserve the state's historical records,” said Godoy.

Two women wearing masks sitting at a table talking and looking at photographic slides
Associate Archivist Elizabeth Dunham and Assistant Archivist Jessica Salow examine slides from the Dr. J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. collection.

The ‘Archives Glow’ is real and powerful. For Jessica Salow, Assistant Archivist of Black Collections, “When I get to see communities share their stories with future generations or with their community and start them on a preservation journey, that not only informs generations to come but informs who they are and why their story matters.” 

By sharing archival knowledge and materials with the community, CDA empowers people to start capturing these critical stories that are missing from their family or community history. 

Some of these stories are already being preserved, even right here at ASU. The J. Eugene Grigsby Jr. collection, containing the materials of Dr. Grigsby, a renowned Black scholar, artist, and Professor of Art at ASU, was the first collection to be included in the new Black Collections. “I hope to continue the relationship building I have started with the internal Black ASU faculty, staff, and student organizations by offering preservation workshops, assistance with instruction, and continuing to uplift and tell the hidden stories of Black excellence within ASU,” said Salow

In addition to Black Collections, there are opportunities to scan and digitize BIPOC and LGBTQ collections housed at ASU Library. “It’s crucial that we make these collections accessible to people in person and online because it promotes tolerance and an accurate representation of Arizona history,” said Godoy.

Donate on Sun Devil Giving Day to preserve and share the stories of Arizona’s and ASU’s diverse people and communities.

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