Together Umbra Search African American History and the African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHum) initiative at the University of Maryland are working on a research agenda related to vital issues of collaboration and sustainability for digital collections and platforms focused on African American history and culture.

We are planning two upcoming engagements around this research agenda. The first is a working meeting for invited participants, which will take place on Thursday, October 18, 2018, on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, MD, as a pre-conference event for AADHum’s Intentionally Digital, Intentionally Black conference. The second, the idea for which we have gratefully borrowed from the Collections as Data team, is open to all.

We invite the broader community to engage with us online. Please consider sharing a brief statement to help us shape our face-to-face meeting. This is a great way to get your concerns, questions, and provocations on the table as well as to share your background. Please add your thoughts here:

By convening a group of librarians, archivists, curators, digital humanists, students, technologists, grant-makers, and other stakeholders interested in the preservation, discovery, and access of African American materials in a digital context we intend to advance conversations about representation, agency, and value that are vital to the future of public life and scholarship. We are particularly interested, through this meeting and through follow on activities, in topics such as broadening the constituencies for black digital collections, ownership and agency in shared collections, as well as beginning and sustaining collaborations.

We will include these position statements in our public reporting on the meeting (with the permission of contributors).