The Gullah Geechee Digital Project: Engagement, Outreach, and Repatriation
From Claire Cahoon
This work-in-progress session provides an update on the Gullah Geechee Digital Project, which brings together South Carolina Gullah Geechee archival collections held by the Library of Congress, the Association for Cultural Equity, The South Carolina Historical Society and Coastal Carolina University. Included in the project are spirituals, films, oral histories and historical documents that increase visibility of the significant political, cultural, and economic contributions that Gullah Geechee communities have made to America. The project’s main goals are to enhance engagement of collections by university students and cultural experts, introduce the collections to the public and K-12 curriculum, and repatriate the collections to their Gullah Geechee communities of origin.
The Gullah Geechee people are an underrepresented community in digital scholarship. This project aims to rectify that situation by providing online access to digitized materials, along with K-12 educational materials, an annual international conference, and community outreach events. To challenge the dominant narrative often encountered in archival collections, the project will involve community members in creating a folksonomy to describe collections in a way that speaks to them and allows for new dimensions of research. Immersive virtual exhibits will provide another way to promote community engagement with the materials. Returning collections to communities of origin through repatriation helps to promote engagement and contributes to the reclamation of a community’s cultural authority. The annual International Gullah Geechee and African Diaspora Conference at CCU focuses on themes and areas of concentration from the collections and involves collaborations from global scholars and community experts.Presenters:
- Scott Bacon, Coordinator of Digital Initiatives & Associate Librarian at Coastal Carolina University
- Alli Crandell, Director of the Athenaeum Press and Digital Initiatives, Coastal Carolina University
- Samantha Duncan, Instructional Design Librarian & Assistant Librarian, Coastal Carolina University