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Shift Collective Partners with CLIR to Evaluate Recordings at Risk Program

Color graphic with photos of at risk recordings materials and Shift Collective and Recordings at Risk logos.

[November 7, 2023] – The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is pleased to introduce the dynamic team of researchers from Shift Collective, embarking on a two-year retrospective assessment of the Recordings at Risk program. Generously funded by the Mellon Foundation as part of the program’s most recent renewal, this evaluation project will overlap with future calls for applications scheduled for 2024 and 2025.

This trio of researchers will collaborate closely with grant recipients, the program’s independent review panel, and CLIR’s staff. Together, they will consider the program’s impact on collecting organizations, shedding light on the persistent challenges faced by custodians of fragile and obsolete audiovisual media. These media must be reformatted to prevent valuable content from slipping into oblivion and to ensure accessibility for future generations.

“CLIR welcomes this opportunity to partner with Shift Collective at this pivotal moment for our organization. Shift’s work, particularly on the Architecting Sustainable Futures project, challenges us to envision new ways of designing programs that will help collecting organizations thrive despite rapid technical, social, and environmental changes,” said Charles Henry, president of CLIR. “This collaboration is not just an evaluation; it is also a moment to celebrate the diverse tapestry of cultural history captured in audio and audiovisual media.”

Shift Collective’s community-focused approach empowers marginalized voices and promotes inclusivity in cultural heritage practice.  By understanding the program’s effects on these communities, this research will inform more equitable approaches to audiovisual preservation. The outcomes of this team’s research will illuminate future avenues for CLIR and others committed to the safekeeping of rare and unique audiovisual materials.

Meet the researchers

Gabriel Solís

Gabriel Solís (he/him) is an LA-based community memory worker with a vast portfolio of archival and public memory projects. He has consulted with the Ford Foundation’s Reclaiming the Border Narrative initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Oral History Project, the UCLA Archiving the Age of Mass Incarceration project, and Separated: Stories of Injustice and Solidarity–a National Endowment for the Humanities supported project documenting the lived experiences of parents separated from their children at the U.S./Mexico border. Gabriel currently serves on Shift Collective’s Historypin Research Faculty and the Advisory Board for the Community-Centered Archives Practice: Transforming Education, Archives, and Community History (C-CAP TEACH) project. In 2022, Gabriel (with WITNESS) wrote “Centering Agency, Community, and Care in Archives Grantmaking.” Gabriel is the Executive Director of the Texas After Violence Project, a community archive that fosters deeper understanding of the impacts of state violence. In recognition of his contributions, Gabriel was named the University of California Regents Fellow in Information Studies in 2023.

Lynette Johnson

A founding member of Shift Collective, Lynette Johnson is a cultural historian working with cultural heritage institutions to create programs and tools to enhance their connection with their communities, primarily centered around shared local history. Prior to joining Shift in 2017, she held positions as a journalist, art director, and digital media strategist at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, The Journal News in New York, and The Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw a range of newsroom, corporate, and community engagement projects. Lynette holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Orleans and a Master of Preservation Studies from Tulane University’s School of Architecture. Her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of preservation led to her recognition as a National Trust Diversity Scholar by the National Trust for Historic Places in 2019.

Zakiya Collier

Zakiya Collier (she/they) is a Brooklyn-based, Black, queer archivist and memory worker. Zakiya’s work and research revolve around cooperative thought and improvisation, especially in the context of sustaining im/material cultural memory, with a particular focus on marginalized communities and cultural heritage institutions. Prior to joining Shift Collective in 2022, Zakiya was already a steadfast advocate for African-diasporan, queer, and community-based organizations. Their recent work includes serving as the first digital archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; project archivist at Weeksville Heritage Center; archivist for the visual artist, Marilyn Nance; and co-editor of a special double issue of The Black Scholar on Black archival practice. Zakiya holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of South Carolina, an MLIS from Long Island University, and an MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University. Zakiya became a Certified Archivist through the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA) in September 2020.

For more information on the Recordings at Risk program, visit https://www.clir.org/recordings-at-risk/.

For more information about Shift Collective, visit https://www.shiftcollective.us/.

About Shift Collective

Text logo for Shift Collective

Shift Collective strives to create measurable and lasting social change by developing inclusive cultural memory experiences that give voice to unheard narratives and perspectives. They help communities tell and amplify their own stories, so that incomplete dominant narratives do not persist. They are focused on inclusive narrative and historical representation in order to support social, cultural and resource equity.

About CLIR

Council on Library and Information Wordmark logo

The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.

Contact: cwilliford@clir.org

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