Community Archives in the Digital Era: Creating the South Asian American Digital Archive
Abstract: The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) is the only independent non-profit organization giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving and sharing stories that reflect their diverse experiences. SAADA’s digital-only, post-custodial approach to creating a community-based archives reimagines the potential of the archive in the digital era. By allowing original archival materials to remain with the individuals, organizations or institutions from which they originate, SAADA helps reconsider the possibilities of collaboration in access, use, and preservation. Since the organization’s inception in 2008, SAADA has built a digital archive of over 1,600 discrete items, undertaken innovative initiatives like its First Days Project, and through outreach and educational programming has raised awareness about the rich history of South Asians in the United States. The SAADA website received nearly 200,000 visitors from around the world in the last year alone and the organization has been covered by the New York Times, NPR, BBC World Service, India Abroad and other publications both in the U.S. and in South Asia.
Samip Mallick, SAADA’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, will share stories from the archive and the organization’s unique approach to documenting and preserving community history.
This program is organized by the Center for South Asian Studies with support from the U-M LSA Theme Semester and co-sponsored by the Institute for Humanities, the Department of American Culture, the Program in Latina/o Studies, the University Library, and the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies.