This is a sketch of a proposed project I’m working on with Lizette Gurerra.
Inspiration: This project draws inspiration from several sources. One classic archival assignment is to bring students of history or cultural studies into the archive, randomly assign them a box and ask them to write an essay or construct a historical narrative based on the materials. At the same time, there is also a tradition of archivist traveling to classrooms and bringing with them a “trunk” of materials for students to handle and examine.
Project Summary: The purpose of this project is to facilitate the construction of narratives, making use of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center archive materials through the creation of virtual boxes that can be explored by educators, students, scholars and community members. The narratives created by the “box” users would ultimately become part of the archive and the boxes’ history.
Project Rationale The ability to work with archival materials in order to research and construct historical narratives has previously been limited to those with the privilege of accessing the archive in person. These institutions rarely are the same ones designated as “Hispanic serving.” This project would allow educators, students (6-12 as well as college and university students) and community members to have the powerful experience of opening an archive box and working with the original materials.
How would it work: Boxes should be able to both be randomly assigned by teachers and / or users so as to create a sense of surprise and adventure, especially in a classroom situation. … Read the rest