About CAW

Presentation during the Community Archiving Workshop at Three Dollar Bill Cinema in Seattle, WA 2012. Photo by: Rachel Beattie.
Presentation during the Community Archiving Workshop at Three Dollar Bill Cinema in Seattle, WA 2012. Photo by: Rachel Beattie.

About CAW

The purpose of the Community Archiving Workshop (CAW) is to support organizations wishing to jumpstart the preservation of their audiovisual collections.  While anyone can hold a workshop or use the CAW models, current CAW project focus on under-represented and geographically isolated collections.

The workshops are usually a one-day audiovisual preservation and training workshop that pairs trained archivists with collection caretakers and community volunteers to provide training in audiovisual collections care, and work together to accomplish a goal for an audiovisual collection. Often the workshop focus is on inventory and assessment of a collection. However, CAWs have also included digitization, digital file organization, film inspection, and other activities. The workshop often includes tours, talks, screenings, and meals together which build strong regional networks and develop ideas for collaboration.

How to Use this Website

This online handbook documents past and present projects by CAW and its partners. It is also a toolkit that contains resources, training modules, and methodologies for holding a workshop of your own. These resources are developed by CAW from over a decade of experience holding workshops in audiovisual collection care. They are free to use and adapt for your project.

Growth of the CAW Model

Since 2018, CAW has expanded the resources and training it offers, thanks in large part to funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and support from the Association of Tribal Libraries and Archives (ATALM) and Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA). The Training of Trainers program trains organizations in geographically isolated areas to hold their own workshops using CAW training modules as a foundation. The Tribal Libraries and Archives Collection Care Project develops workshops for tribally held collections using the CAW modules. Both projects work long-term with partners to develop Preservation Plans, and both projects provide digitization kits, film inspection kits, and collection assessment kits in those regions.

CAW History

CAW has its roots in the Activist Archiving workshops organized by the Mona Jimenez, a professor emeritus with the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program (MIAP) at New York University. In 2010, Jimenez worked with the Independent Media Interest Group of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) to hold the first workshop in conjunction with the AMIA conference. The goal was to support archiving in the communities in which the AMIA conferences were held. Since that time, CAW has grown into a collective with a rotating group of core members (and dozens of partners) who direct the program and determine its vision.

The Community Archiving Workshop model is adaptable for all collections. We would love to hear about your workshops and how these resources have supported your project.

Images of Past Workshops

Visit the Community Archiving Workshop Flickr page to see past workshop activity.


Planning Organizations

Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)
AMIA – Independent Media Committee
AMIA – Diversity Committee

Community Partner Organizations

Austin History Center, Austin, TX
Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Seattle, WA
Valentine Richmond History Center, Richmond, VA
All Walks of Life (AWOL) & Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, GA
Vanessa Renwick (artist) & Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Portland, OR
Attack Theeatre, City of Asylum, & David Newell, Pittsburgh, PA
NOVAC, New Orleans, LA

KBOO, Portland, OR

CAW Committee Members

Rachel E. Beattie, Toronto, Canada
Kelli Hix, Nashville, TN
Mona Jimenez, New York, NY
Marie Lascu, New York, NY
Jeff Martin, Chicago, IL
Yvonne Ng, Prague, Czech Republic
Amy Sloper, Cambridge, MA
Moriah Ulinskas, Oakland, CA
Pamela Vadakan, San Francisco, CA
Sandra Yates, Houston, TX