Wednesday, June 19 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
More than the Weather: Indigeneity, Race, and the Local Collection in the Age of Climate Change

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Sponsored by William Reese Company

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, scholars and librarians fetishized large repositories with collecting mandates that strayed far beyond the local. Mass digitization and the resulting aggregation, among other things, compel us to question whether the same logic applies as collections are brought together for study by researchers thousands of miles from where the collections live, or from the places documented in the collections they study. As climatic change becomes a more prominent concern, do place-based collections, and place-based knowledge, become more prominent too? Additionally, what is the impact of climatological disaster on collections that document indigenous and traditionally marginalized peoples, and on digital efforts meant to document and make accessible these histories? This panel addresses these questions through distinct lenses, beginning with the National Park Service’s efforts to document history across the country under often extreme conditions—economic, political, and climatological. The second presentation looks at how large sets of data trace words across time and place through snippets of text circulated and recycled in newspapers. Using Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s composition of “The Wreck of the Hesperus” (1840), this presentation considers how, as a result of its circulation as both a poem and as song, the work changed the land and those who inhabited that land. The final presentation reflects on how issues of race, place, and (digital) collecting intersect with climate change writ large:  Where do we find the stories of climate change? What are the roles of institutional and community collections in preserving such stories? What role can digital efforts like Mukurtu, Umbra Search African American History,  and other initiatives (e.g., UNC Chapel Hill's "Archivist in a Backpack," Documenting the Now) play in stewarding stories in the age of climate disaster? 

avatar for Cecily Marcus

Cecily Marcus

Givens Collection/Umbra Search, University of Minnesota
Cecily Marcus is Principal Investigator of Umbra Search African American History (umbrasearch.org) and curator of the Givens Collection of African American Literature, the Performing Arts Archives, and the Upper Midwest Literary Archives at the University of Minnesota. Marcus has... Read More →

Reginald Chapple

National Park Service
avatar for Molly O'Hagan Hardy

Molly O'Hagan Hardy

Independent Scholar
Molly O’Hagan Hardy has worked as the director of the library and archives at the Cape Ann Museum and as the the director for digital and book history initiatives at the American Antiquarian Society. Her work, both as an exhibition curator and digital humanities project director... Read More →

Wednesday June 19, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
University Ballroom 1-2