Did a community archive change your life?  Your archive story matters!

The Community Archives Lab at UCLA explores the ways that independent, identity-based memory organizations document, shape, and provide access to the histories of minoritized communities, with a particular emphasis on understanding their affective, political, and artistic impact.

What is a Community Archive?

Thanks to the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UCLA’s Community Archives Lab has launched a three-year (2018-2021) project to provide paid internships to UCLA Information Studies graduate students at community archives throughout Southern California. For more information, visit The UCLA/Community Archives Internship Project page. 

From 2016-2019, the Lab’s PI earned an Early Career Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to conduct the “Assessing the Use of Community Archives” project.

The project examined the way Asian American, Latinx, and LGBTQ community archives in Southern California counter the absence or mis-portrayal (what feminist communication scholars have termed “symbolic annihilation”) of their communities in mainstream media and archives by providing both avenues for autonomous self-representation and politically generative future-oriented spaces for shaping collective memory. In addition to producing scholarship, the Community Archives Lab created a tangible toolkit for community archives to expand their practice, assess their own impact, and leverage their strengths to attract funding and support.