Art & Media Archives

African/Black Diaspora Archives

Chimurenga is a pan African platform of writing, art and politics founded by Ntone Edjabe in 2002. Drawing together a myriad voices from across Africa and the diaspora, Chimurenga takes many forms operating as an innovative platform for free ideas and political reflection about Africa by Africans. Outputs include a journal of culture, art and politics of the same name (Chimurenga Magazine); a quarterly broadsheet called The Chronic; The Chimurenga Library – an online resource of collected independent pan-African periodicals and personal books; the African Cities Reader – a biennial publication of urban life, Africa-style; and the Pan African Space Station (PASS) – an online radio station and pop-up studio.​

The University of Minnesota Libraries, in partnership with the Penumbra Theatre Company, is launching Umbra Search African American History, a free and openly available online search tool at that facilitates broad access to over 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African American history from more than 1,000 libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions across the United States.

Black Cultural Archives was founded in 1981, by educationalist and historian Len Garrison and others. BCA’s mission is to record, preserve and celebrate the history of people of African descent in Britain. Since then Black Cultural Archives (BCA) has embarked on the journey to collect and preserve materials which redress the historical balance and representation of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. The archive collection is one of the most comprehensive collections that documents the history and cultural heritage of Black Britain.

Cultural Archives, Central Asia

The Ajam Digital Archive is a user-generated and crowd-sourced digital space, enabling individuals to take part in preserving pieces of 20th century life and cultures from countries in Central Asia.. Family histories tell us how people actually lived and how they experienced the world around them. How people conducted their daily lives, their social, cultural, and political routines, and how those big historical moments and changes affected real people’s lives in small and big ways. The items collected for the Ajam Digital Archive will allow us to document and record history from below—how it was actually lived, experienced, and understood. It is precisely these histories that were ignored in favour of tales that focused exclusively on wars and revolutions, rarely giving us a sense of how life was lived amidst it all. By serving as an accessible space for objects not traditionally included in historical narratives, the Ajam Digital Archive will allow us all to participate in history-making, weaving together personal and familial stories and doing the work of historians.

International Archives

Of all the journals published by the United Nations and its specialised institutions, the UNESCO Courier has always occupied first place for the number of its readers and the range of its audience, said the American journalist Sandy Koffler, the Courier’s founder and first editor-in-chief, in 1988. The magazine has changed a great deal over the years, both in content and in form. But it pursues its original mission: promote UNESCO’s ideals, maintain a platform for the dialogue between cultures and provide a forum for international debate. Available online since March 2006, the UNESCO Courier serves readers around the world in the six official languages of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), and also in Esperanto and Portuguese. A limited number of issues are also produced in print.

Media and Broadcasting Archives

The Media History Digital Library is a non-profit initiative, led by Eric Hoyt at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, dedicated to digitizing historic books and magazines about film, broadcasting, and recorded sound for broad public access. The archive has scanned works that are no longer protected by copyright. The project is supported by libraries and collectors of materials who loan them for scanning, and sponsors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning. 

This archive contains hundreds of digital resources (images, sound, narrative) organized in ten categories, including art & entertainment, economics, health, politics and war & conflict. The rich collection captures various aspects of Canadian social, cultural and political life and stores documents that illuminate Canada’s past, present and future. The collection has a special link to resources that could aid educators and teachers.