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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Collaboration Expands Access to Archival Resources

American Archives Month is a perfect time to provide an update on the Frederick Douglass Dwellings Collection. Since my previous post, our museum partnered with the Community Voice Project of American University’s School of Communication to create a short film by students that documents the memories of residents of the former Frederick Douglass Dwellings housing project. The film, The Only People in Town, was filmed partly in our archives and incorporates archival materials from two collections which visually capture the social activities in the community sponsored by the local recreation center during the 1940s. As an archivist, I am excited to see the resources of our archives used to recall detailed memories and instill a sense of pride in the residents about their former community. Archives helped tell this story of life in a World War II-era housing development built for African Americans. I also believed exposure to our resources helped the anthropology students from the American University College of Arts and Sciences and film students from the School of Communication realize the value of archives and the archivist’s role in providing access to research and film-worthy materials.         

Jennifer Morris

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

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