Exciting Transition for CUNY Digital History Archive

York College students join PSC pickets in opposing the May 1973 contract impasse. Demonstrators raise issues around tenure quotas, budget cuts, open admissions, and the Professional Staff Congress union contract. (Photo/Dan Miller, courtesy Professional Staff Congress/CUNY)

The Mina Rees Library at the Graduate Center, CUNY is proud to announce its support of the CUNY Digital History Archive (CDHA) in partnership with the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning. The CUNY Digital History Archive, which was created by the ASHP/CML, is a community-curated digital public archive and portal that provides scholars, students, and the broader public online access to archival materials related to the rich history of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest urban public university system.
 
The library will assume a lead role in developing and sustaining the CUNY Digital History Archive and its collections under the direction of Professor Roxanne Shirazi, with continued support from the ASHP/CML. “CUNY plays a crucial role in the story of New York City and urban public higher education,” said Emily Drabinski, interim chief librarian. “We are delighted by this opportunity to further develop the CUNY Digital History Archive and carry forward the important work that has already been done to collect and preserve this vital history.”
 
The CUNY Digital History Archive conducts and collects oral history interviews and provides digital access to textual and visual historical materials held by individuals whose lives, in diverse ways, have been shaped by and have helped to shape CUNY. Project historians contextualize the materials through introductory essays and work with CUNY graduate students, staff, and retirees to build collections that reveal the vibrant community of educators and activists that sustain the institution. The project, co-directed by Andrea Vasquez, managing director of the New Media Lab at ASHP/CML, and Graduate Center Professor Stephen Brier since 2011, involves faculty, staff, students, archivists, librarians, retirees, and alumni across CUNY, with Chloe Smolarski serving as project manager. Initially supported by the Arthur P. Sloan Foundation, the CUNY Digital History Archive received the 2017 Archival Achievement award from the Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York.
 
“The Mina Rees Library’s ongoing involvement in the operation and administration of the CDHA and the leadership role that Roxanne Shirazi will play moving forward helps assure the long-term viability and sustainability of the archive,” said Brier. “I look forward to working with my ASHP and Mina Rees colleagues to help the CDHA grow in the coming years.” Brier, who retires from CUNY in January 2022, will continue as a historical adviser to the CUNY Digital History Archive for the foreseeable future.
 
The Mina Rees Library at the Graduate Center, CUNY is part of CUNY’s federation of 31 campus libraries and serves the teaching, learning, and research communities of the Graduate Center, the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, and the Advanced Science Research Center.
 
Based at the Graduate Center, CUNY since 1996, the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning has partnered with numerous historical and educational organizations to produce print, visual, and multimedia materials that explore the richly diverse social and cultural history of the United States. ASHP/CML also develops curricula and leads professional development seminars that help teachers in New York City and across the nation to use the latest scholarship, technology, and active learning methods in their classrooms. 

To learn more about the library’s partnership with the American Social History Project/CML please reach out to Roxanne Shirazi at rshirazi@gc.cuny.edu.  

Submitted on: OCT 20, 2021

Category: General GC News