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.

This handbook will serve as a guide to holding a Community Archiving Workshop. The goal of these workshops is to help an organization jump-start the preservation of an audiovisual collection—film, video, or audio. The idea is simple: experienced audiovisual archivists partner with local volunteers for a daylong workshop that will assess and catalog as many materials as possible, and in the process, provide hands-on training for local volunteers, so they can carry on the work in the future. The model used thus far is for pairs––one moving image archivist and one community volunteer––to work together. With proper planning, these workshops are not only extremely valuable to your community’s organization—they are also a lot of fun. We hope this handbook will empower you to hold a workshop of your own.

The handbook has its origins in a series of Activist Archiving workshops organized by the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program (MIAP) at New York University in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the Independent Media Interest Group of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) held its first workshop based on the MIAP model. The workshop takes advantage of the fact that, during the annual AMIA conference hundreds of moving image archivists converge on a single city. A number of these archivists agree to spend a day working with a local organization with an audiovisual collection.

The Community Archiving Workshop model is appropriate for all audiovisual collections; however, it should be noted that to date the focus has been on film and video collections. Audio collections will require additional information and templates—so this handbook is a living document, which will be expanded based on future experience with audio collections.

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