Building a Community Data Curation Practice

Digital Archiving through Partnership and Resource Sharing

Jennifer Garcon
Jennifer Garcon
Bollinger Fellow in Public and Community Data CurationUniversity of PennsylvaniaRead Bio

MITH wants everyone in our community to stay healthy and the best way to do that right now is to avoid meetings or gatherings. With sadness, we canceled the final two Digital Dialogues of the Spring 2020 season. We will work with Jennifer Garcon on a plan to speak at a later date. In support of the Re/Member Black Philadelphia project, Garcon launched a community data curation pilot in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia. The goal of the community-rooted digitization project was to create access pathways to historical records from under-documented communities by producing digital surrogates and offering consultation to expand the life of materials held within the communities of color. As Philadelphia gentrifies at a faster rate than San Francisco, well-resourced institutions need to develop inclusive practices that support on-going community archival efforts. This talk discusses the experience of building an institutional practice that foregrounds partnership and resource sharing in developing digital archives.

Jennifer Garcon is the CLIR Bollinger Fellow in Public and Community Data Curation at the University of Pennsylvania, where she facilitates archiving and preservation initiatives geared toward protecting and safeguarding vulnerable data, which includes formats endangered by technological obsolescence and historic data held in communities experiencing gentrification. She is also a research associate for the Library of Congress’s Radio Preservation Taskforce, an initiative to develop comprehensive national preservation of sound recordings. Garcon was previously an archives assistant for the Radio Haiti Archives at Duke University, and the Assistant Curator of Permanent Exhibits at HistoryMiami Museum. Garcon received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Miami, where her research focused on radio politics and grassroots anti-government movement in the Cold War Caribbean.

A continuously updated schedule of talks is also available on the Digital Dialogues page.

Unable to attend the events in person? Archived podcasts can be found on the MITH website, and you can follow our Digital Dialogues Twitter account @digdialog as well as the Twitter hashtag #mithdd to keep up with live tweets from our sessions. Viewers can watch the live stream as well.

All talks free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunches.

Contact: MITH (,, 301.405.8927).