To foster and contextualize conversations regarding incidents targeting specific underrepresented groups on our campus, the UC San Diego Library created “Tell Us How UC It: A Living Archive.”
Use the right-side navigation to explore the full exhibit.
A “living archive” collects and presents materials in a way that allows for the expression, exhibition, documentation, and preservation of a sentiment or movement in a particular community. It consists of three parts:
(1) Historical artifacts and accounts documenting the progression of a movement
(2) Creative works by current members of a community that offer an in-the-moment expression of community sentiments and experiences
(3) In-the-moment feedback about the exhibit or movement as a whole, whereby preserving real-time responses allows reflections of the past to converge with vital expressions of current sentiment.
“Tell Us How UC It” debuted with a temporary physical exhibit in the UC San Diego Library that included an extensive timeline of events and incidents from UC San Diego’s history (and in some cases, history in general) that affected the campus climate for students in such a way that they were compelled to act or react. This compiled history established a narrative of UCSD’s student activism.
To add present sentiment to the narrative, current UC San Diego students submitted a variety of creative work expressing their experience of the campus climate. Their submissions were solicited through campus flyers, direct communication with student community centers and the residential life coordinators of each of UC San Diego’s colleges, as well as through collaborations with faculty who introduced the project in their classrooms. A selection of the student reflections were featured in the physical exhibit.
Finally, an area for visitor feedback provided another unfiltered narrative that became part of the archive itself.
The opening of the exhibit featured a panel event of alumni and current UCSD staff and faculty who discussed their involvement in activism on the UCSD campus and offered guidance to a new generation of student activists. Each of these elements, including all of the student submissions and video of the panel, were compiled in a permanent online archive using the free, open-source exhibit tool, Omeka.
To increase the accessibility and preservation of the exhibit, an online collection was created.