Student Movements: Archive your Records

6 03 2010

Students organizations at UCLA can preserve the history of their work.  This is relevant for the student and worker movements that have been mobilizing to defend public education this March 4, 2010.

Yesterday, I was helping the Samahang Pilipino Collective (a Pilipino-American student organization at UCLA) process their records in the University Archives. We met with University Archivist Charlotte Brown.

As we went through the boxes, news articles of the past showed similar issues of budget cuts and attacks on minority students and programs. The struggles today have a history. By keeping track of the events we hold, documenting speakers, the papers we write, the artwork we create, we can create a body of knowledge to study the lineage of university privatization and how students and workers have actively resisted this through time.  We can study and correct our blindspots, we can think about new strategies, we learn about our allies in the past and present. From here, we can stay united, diverse, knowledgeable and powerful student movement.

Tips I learned:

For UCLA students, contact Charlotte at the University Archives.  All other schools, check with your school’s archives and/or libraries, and see if they are willing to preserve student organization records because they are part of your academic institution’s history.

Start somewhere. Work with records, papers, pictures, flyers, videos, audios, anything that has been created to document events or student organization life.

At UCLA, student organizations own the copyright of their records, not the UC. Student orgs can devise their terms of copyright and how they would want access to be granted.

Student orgs can process their own archival records to control the context. This shapes how people interpret your records in the future.

Preserve student movement work in your academic archives so we can build continuity of critical thinking, action and movement building for future students.

Listen to the archival processing workshop here:




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