Community Archives Workshop in Los Angeles

For any readers who are in Los Angeles – or more broadly as a discussion prompt for anyone interested in community-based archives

I’m helping to coordinate a workshop on skills for community archives on Saturday, March 1st, at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research (SoCal Library), located at 6120 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, (, from 11am to 2pm. The Los Angeles Radical Reference group ( is hosting this workshop to teach basic archival skills for community and activist groups. I’ll be leading the workshop alongside two incredible L.A. colleagues doing work in libraries, archives and community organizing.

We’ll use the workshop to begin processing a collection held by the SoCal library: records from the (now defunct) Los Angeles-based Communities Against Police Aggression. We’re especially excited to welcome current activists interested in learning more about these records. We’re hoping that this can foster ongoing cooperation between the SoCal Library, L.A.’s Radical Reference librarians, and community activists.

Some food for discussion/thought: are there others reading this who have worked on fostering collaborations between archives (or libraries) and activist groups? Can historical records be of benefit to the current work of activists? We’ll be talking about this more on Saturday, but I’d love to hear virtually from far-flung archivists or others with experience in this area.




Filed under archives, community development

3 responses to “Community Archives Workshop in Los Angeles

  1. greyson

    This interests me a lot Katie! (I know this is shocking, given our history together, huh?)

    Will this workshop deal with paper/physical archives, or digitization? I’ve been thinking a lot about open access to non-academic materials in the past year, and have gotten excited about a few neat library forays into helping community groups create OA digital archives of their own stuff. (Yes, another post on the to-do list)

  2. Katie

    This workshop will deal specifically with paper archives and ephemera – the digitization question is such a great one, but not something that’s been started at the SoCal library, as far as I know. If the community processing goes well, perhaps digitization would be a next step. I’d love to know more about what you know about community forays into OA digital archives – cool cool cool!

  3. karen emily

    hey katie. i’d love hear how this went, and how you approached the workshop. i’m really interested in bridging archives and activists and a few of us are interested in running some workshops in toronto on this. so any input would be so appreciated.

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