Translations: العربية

Community Archives: Preserving Public History and Memory in the Middle East

Chatting at a corner in Souq Waqif (Old Market). Doha, Qatar, March 24, 2011. Photo by Alexey Sergeev.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

The Community Archives Symposium at UCL Qatar will examine the possibilities for and signs of community archives developing in the MENA region. Community archives are “collections of materials gathered primarily by members of a given community1” to document the commonalities of the group’s identity and their difference from the mainstream. They diversify our understanding of the past and help to address omissions in the historical record. While oral history has been a popular tool for community archives, collections can also include photographs, written documents, material artefacts and digital files and websites. Scholars, archivists, and community members will discuss the relevance of community archives to document the heritage of communities in the region however they are defined: tribally, ethnically, linguistically, nationally or otherwise. Many people in the region are developing projects that could fall under the rubric of community archives. What is the future of this community based form of documentation in the region?

  1. Flinn, Stevens & Shepherd, 2009 Whose Memories, whose Archives?