top of page

Archives
from the Margins

Engaging with Community Archives

Claudia Annette Portillo, MA

Business Admin & Latin American Studies

SFSU & CalStateLA

cla.portillo@gmail.com / team@cahaas.org

CAHAAS_LOGO_BLACK_WEB.png
image00033.jpeg
image00034_edited.jpg
On set for Dora_edited.jpg
image00034_edited.png
cahaas-logo-and-tagline.jpg

Community-based archives include individual and family collections in their records to place value in cultural experiences outside the dominant national narrative.

The Central American Historical & Ancestral Society of California

(Courtesy Portillo Collection)

MAP940x726_300.jpg

Defining Community Archives

CAHAAS collects, preserves, and shares Central American heritage and voices that represent our diverse diaspora experiences to expand the U.S. dominant narrative for a more inclusive and just society.

Community-based Archives: "collections of material gathered primarily by members of a given community and over whose community members exercise some level of control... The defining characteristic of community archives is the active participation of a community in documenting and making accessible their history of their particular group and/or locality on their own terms."

Flinn et al, 73 [Quoted by Dr. Michelle Caswell in Activating archives: What community archives

can teach us about autonomy and reparation]

Engaging Community-based Archives

SAADA_edited_edited.png

SAADA

South Asian American Digital Archive

El Monte Museum.JPG

La Historia Society

EL Monte Community Museum 

CAHAAS-COVER.JPG

CAHAAS.org

Promote an understanding of Central America's rich and dynamic history...

HOW WE ARCHIVE

COLLECTING

FullSizeRender (1).jpg

PRESERVING

image00034_edited.png

SHARING

ancestry cover.png

"SAADA is run entirely on a post-custodial model such that, rather than accept physical custody of records, SAADA borrows records from individuals, families, organizations, and academic and government repositories, digitizes them, describes them in a culturally appropriate manner, links them to related materials in the archives, and makes them freely accessible online to anyone in the world with an internet connection."

Dr. Michelle Caswell

Submissions.jpg

Engaging Community-centered Archives

Community-centered Archives: collections of documents, images, and other materials about people who are not usually represented in traditional academic and government-run institutions.

UC Irvine & California Digital Library

Comm-centered Univ Example.JPG
Cindy Mata.JPG
Cindy-Mata's-cover.jpg

Cindy Mata

image000000 (1)_edited.jpg
Ester's-book-cover.jpg

Ester E. Hernández

Michelle Caswell_edited.jpg
SAADA-Michelle's-cover.jpg

Michelle Caswell

Christine E. Sleeter.JPG
instagram-frame-yellow_edited_edited.jpg

Christine E. Sleeter

UCI History Project

Why We Archive

CalState LA Anthropology

Educator & Activist

UCLA Archival Studies

Critical archives challenge traditional archival practices by questioning the power dynamics inherent in the creation, organization, and access to archives. This approach seeks to uncover and address issues of representation, authority, and bias within archival collections, with a focus on marginalized voices and histories with the idea to promote inclusivity, social justice, and accountability within archival practice.

image00029.jpeg
  • Critical Archives are political

  • Critical Archives are activism

  • Critical Archives are inclusive

bottom of page