Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



This pilot study seeks to explore the social and technological barriers affecting user engagement in online community archives. We have explored this question using the Documenting Ferguson digital archive, which was built by Washington University Libraries at Washington University in St. Louis in response to the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and the resulting social protests. The archive, online at, was initially built for anyone who participated in events in and around Ferguson to upload their digital images and videos from the protests, with a goal of providing diverse perspectives on the events through the development of a community archive with an engaged user base. To date, the archive has grown to include more than 1,000 digital objects from 44 contributors, including photos, audio files, videos, and personal stories.



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