Resistance Collections PACSCL Member Event

Resistance Collections
An Event for PACSCL Library Staff

22 people attended a Chronicling Resistance event for staff from PACSCL member libraries. The goals of the event were to inform PACSCL member staff about the project and its findings, and to learn more about resistance-related collections in the collections of PACSCL institutions.

The event opened with everyone sharing something that was going on at their own institution, either that they were particularly excited about or that they had been focusing on. Project director Mariam Williams outlined the events we hosted, questions that were asked of attendees, and some early findings. She also asked several people in the room to share their experiences of attending or hosting listening sessions.

One attendee noted that the listening session he attended gave him further motivation and a framework for the work he wanted to do in thinking about his institution’s demographic boundaries. He was also especially influenced by speaker comments on how ownership of narratives is critical. A staff member at an institution which hosted a listening session noted that having the session there connected her with people who had been involved with the history of her institution, and brought out stories she had not heard before. Other attendees noted that sessions gave them a lot to think about and found them productive.

Mariam then reviewed discoveries from our process, and rounded up some other projects we have thought about, used as inspiration, and been in conversation with. Major points included that the public connects the past and the present, but doesn’t necessarily see a connection of the past to archives and special collections. One major barrier to this is not knowing what materials are available or if they are available to everyone.

The conversation then transitioned to the website we are creating that will include information about resistance related materials found in PACSCL collections, which attempts to address in some way the findings above. We discussed the audience for the website and its goals, as well as how materials could be added and what information we are hoping to collect. Guidelines written by project staff were passed around, designed to help people think about language and types of description.

The event closed with general social and networking time, so that attendees could talk more informally about the work they are doing.