Audiovisual Collections Care in Tribal Archives

In partnership with the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums, and with support of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, Community Archiving Workshop addresses the widespread threat to audiovisual (film, video, audio) holdings in tribal archives, libraries and museums (TALMs) through a series of regional workshops. In a 2020 survey, 65% of responding TALMs stated that they are stewards of important audiovisual recordings, and only 9% report that they have a preservation plan in use. 

CAW supports efforts to preserve and improve access to these collections by training tribal archivists and librarians to inventory and assess their collections, and to prioritize and prepare them for digitization. Each workshop is preceded by group webinars followed by the delivery of a one-day onsite workshop in which participants learn to identify different media formats and risk factors, establish controlled vocabulary for description of a/v collections, and document and prioritize collections for preservation. Workshop participants also learn about digitization methods for audiovisual assets. This project is funded by two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Scheduled to begin in March 2020, the workshop switched to a remote model because of the Covid-19 pandemic, delivering training to five organizations in the Southwest from March to December 2021. This resulted in the development of new on-line educational modules and resources, which are available on the Southwest cohort webpage.

In-person workshops resumed in October 2022, serving organizations in California, Hawai’i, Alaska, and Oklahoma.

  • Southwest Cohort (March – December 2021)
  • ATALM 2022 Conference; Temecula, CA (October 25, 2022)
  • Hawai’i Workshop; Honolulu, Hawai’i (April 15, 2023)
  • Kodiak Workshop; Kodiak, AK (May 12, 2023)
  • Anchorage Workshop; Anchorage, AK (May 16, 2023)
  • ATALM 2023 Conference; Oklahoma City, OK (October 24, 2023)

Outcomes: A total of 155 individual participants were trained in audiovisual preservation basics. 2,664 audiovisual assets were inspected and inventoried for eighteen tribal organizations. Of these, eleven developed detailed preservation plans for their collections.

Partner organizations:

  • Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association
  • Alutiiq Museum
  • Bristol Bay Native Corporation
  • Chickaloon Native Village
  • Comanche Nation Language Department
  • Goldbelt Heritage Foundation
  • Hui Iwi Kuamo‘o
  • Hula Preservation Society
  • ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi
  • Ka Ipu Makani Cultural Heritage Center
  • Kodiak History Museum
  • Lāna’i Culture & Heritage Center
  • Miwok Heritage Center
  • Poeh Cultural Center Archives, Pueblo of Pojoaque
  • Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum
  • The Wyandotte Nation Cultural Center and Museum
  • Wahzhazhe Cultural Center
  • Zuni Tribal Archives


Documentation for Audiovisual Collections Care in Tribal Archives


National Endowment for the Humanities
Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, & Museums
CAW logo
Community Archiving Workshop
AMIA logo
Association of Moving Image Archivists

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