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Abstract

The Chicago State University (CSU) Archives collaborated with the International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry (ISDSA), a Chicago-based lineage society, to digitize, describe, and make accessible online a collection of 359 private historic photographs of formerly enslaved African Americans, and 90+ brief family histories, submitted by descendants. This case study describes the benefits, processes, and challenges of this unique, unfinished collaborative project. The study also describes: 1. Creative, flexible approaches to collaborative digital projects by an academic institution and a community organization; 2. Balancing cataloging/metadata standards while respecting a curator’s goals for the collection.

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