Curator for Oral History at Columbia University Libraries and Adjunct Associate Professor for Barnard College Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
“Establishing a Black Feminist Digital Archive”
This summer’s Barnard Digital Humanities Fellowship affords the opportunity to design and build the architecture for a digital black feminist archive that will be accessible to the public. Working through questions of community archives, shared authority and digital representation, the focus is on determining the most ethical way to present materials gathered for the book, Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980 (Duke University Press). Springer will be contacting narrators who participated in oral history interviews related to their time as activists with Black Women Organized for Action (BWOA), a Bay Area-based political action organizations. BOWA’s founder Aileen Hernandez (1926 – 2017) was one of the first presidents of the National Organization for Women (1970 – 1971) and spent the rest of her life developing Black women’s political leadership on the local and national levels. The documents, oral history interviews and transcripts in Springer’s possession are likely the sole archival materials related to BWOA. Deliverables include the foundations for the website on a suitable digital humanities platform, securing new releases from narrators that take into account publication on the web and improving the BWOA Wikipedia entry which is both scant and contains factual errors.