SPEC Kit 347: Community-based Collections · 31
of a grief-based archive that would responsibly and respectfully house and care for the materials associated with
that memory. In the years surrounding the 15th anniversary of the bombing, the perpetual commitment, dedication,
and abilities demonstrated by the university and archives staff made the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster
Archives the logical home for collection materials pertaining to all 270 victims, as well as associated organizations
and individuals.
Opportunity, timing, and strong connections with individuals and community groups.
Space constraints at the Mazer were preventing them from expanding their collecting efforts. This was a way to open
up space, in addition to providing wider research access to the collection and having the collections fully processed and
description available online.
Sustainability of the archives and creating a repository for the community before they passed away.
The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the book of orders and rules that unite and organize the Church,
states that certain records from the local church, church agencies, and other organizations are to be sent to the Annual
Conference archives for the region. The delivery of these archival items, determined by the retention schedule created
and updated by the General Commission on Archives and History, are to be sent when the local church, agency, or
organization closes or merges.
The major anniversary necessitated use, organization, and preservation of the historical records. The loss of memory
represented by both aging and death of members and the challenges posed by whatever records exist along with the
possibility of their loss combine to encourage the organisation to seek a safe home for their history.
The occasion of a major anniversary, the loss of memory represented by an aging community, and the challenges posed
by whatever records exists all combine to encourage the organisation to seek a safe home for their history. They usually
want an archival repository to arrange and describe their records so that they can access their own history.
The Point St-Charles Popular Archives was being dissolved due to decreasing financial resources and lack of space, for
instance. The McGill University Archives had the space and expertise for dealing with and managing community archives
and was able to provide access to the records. As a result, the McGill University Archives acquired the collections.
The World War II era veterans were already in their eighties when we started our most active phase of collecting. Their
families often did not plan for archiving. We needed to save this legacy before it became difficult to do so.
They spent a great deal of time gathering the information, and they wanted to preserve it.
Unknown, but by 1970 the Pilsen neighborhood population had changed from primarily European immigrants to
primarily Mexican immigrants. I can guess that the services and focus of the Neighborhood Service Organization
changed along with the local community and so access to older records didn’t have as much relevance. The Pilsen
neighborhood is close to the university, and the library at that time was actively (and still is) collecting Chicago’s near
west side communities’ historical documents, making UIC a natural home.
We felt that we needed to extend our collecting priorities to better serve our primary clientele, as well as document the
important organizations, movements, and voices of our own region.
We needed to collect history as it was happening on our doorstep as memorials, community meetings, protests, and
rallies were taking place. There was not a system in place to capture this history as it was happening, especially to
document, preserve, and make community and media content accessible.
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