Preserving Digital Cultural Heritage: A Call for Participatory Models

Rose L Chou


Archival institutions heavily influence the historical record and cultural memory. With the exponential increase in digital materials comes the even greater importance of digital preservation, especially in the case of digital cultural heritage. This paper focuses on the digital preservation of collections related to indigenous and other historically marginalized communities. Looking back at archival theory, there are both theoretical and practical grounds for adopting participatory models in digital preservation. For archivists to provide true long-term access to materials, they must work in partnership with source communities. Archival institutions will gain enhanced contextual knowledge, and communities will benefit from the institutional resources necessary for preservation.

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