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Community and small archives: evaluating, preserving, accessing, and engaging with community-based archival heritage

Special issue call for papers from Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

Guest editors: Amanda Cossham, Principal Lecturer, and Sarah Welland, Lecturer, Information and Library Studies at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication is an inter- and cross- disciplinary double-blind peer reviewed journal. It publishes contemporary research and practice which explores the way that people and organisations interact in the digital information environment. It is concerned with innovation and developments in digital information, as they relate to global knowledge, communication and world memory.  It covers the creation, management, dissemination and use of the full range of information objects.

Recently there has been noticeable growth in discussion around community and small archives. Such archives may be stand-alone or part of other organisations such as schools, universities, historic societies, churches, cultural or indigenous communities, and local government or quasi-government organisations. They are often the result of local or community initiatives (where community does not necessarily have a geographic meaning). The notion of critical archiving and giving voice to the marginalised and non-elites is another important aspect, and community archives are considered to challenge the dominant modes of archival practice. Yet the realities of day-to-day practice in small archives are not widely understood or acknowledged by the mainstream or formal archive sector, and it can be difficult to identify key themes or concerns for community and small archives.

Papers are requested that explore the nature and use of community and small archives, their collections and management, and their place in the wider cultural heritage industries. Practitioner perspectives and case studies are especially encouraged.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  •     Community archives and digital heritage
  •     The management of community and small archives including the use of volunteers, access, funding, governance, and strategy
  •     Diversity and discrimination vs the neutrality of the archives
  •     Social justice and community archives
  •     The nature and diversity of collections in community archives including digital collections and the issues around digital preservation and/or digitisation
  •     The use of community archives in digital humanities and local history
  •     Training and professional development for community archivists and archives staff
  •     Case studies and practitioner perspectives on the role, purpose, and place of community archives
  •     Cross-sectoral and shared practice around small and community archives or collections
  •     The place of community archives in the wider archival environment
  •     The place of community archives in the cultural heritage industries

Submissions should comply with the journal author guidelines which are here. They should be made through ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at

•    Deadline for submissions: 15 February 2019
•    Peer review: February-May 2019
•    Revisions, copyediting, proofing etc.: June and July 2019
•    Publication of special issue: August 2019