“Something that feels like a community”: the role of personal stories in building community-based participatory archives

  • Ana RoeschleyEmail author
  • Jeonghyun Kim
Original Paper


Our research aims to explore the personal contexts of community-based participatory archive contributors by unveiling the stories behind the objects the contributors donate to the archives. These stories are historical and valuable in intent because they provide rich evidence about and insights into the past from the perspective of the community members. Using the Mass. Memories Road Show as a case study, we analyzed interviews with individuals who contributed photographs that provide a snapshot of their community to the community-based participatory archives. We employed a grounded theory approach to categorize the photographs contributed and identify themes from the memories and sentiments evoked from the stories behind the photographs. The results of this study demonstrate how people perceive and appraise their past life memories and how their surrounding community influences the formation of community-based participatory archives. This study sheds light on how individuals make connections to their communities through their personal objects and stories.


Community Community archives Participatory archives Memory Collective memory Communities of records Documentation projects 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers who took the time to provide us with the constructive feedback that strengthened our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North TexasDentonUSA

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