Document Type

Case Study

Faculty Sponsor

Professor Schroeder

Publication Date

January 2024


In this mixed case study research paper, I examine how Community Archives deal with issues of access and difficulties of description, especially with hard-to-describe materials. I first discuss the general role of a community archive. I then discuss some of the issues faced by community archives through the lens of three collections at the Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC) that are complicated when it comes to matters of description. The case study part of this project is based on my own experience working on collections at the DSC and from interviews with Michelle McKinney, the Archivist at the DSC. The first DSC collection I discuss is the Club Heaven Soundsystem collection, which preserves the history of a primarily Black LGBTQ club in Detroit. The second collection I discuss is the collection of the Graystone International Jazz Museum & Hall of Fame, a former museum in Detroit. The final collection I discuss is the Jazz Scrapbook Collection, which is a collection of preserved liner notes that were put together by a record store in Dearborn that preserves the history of mostly unknown Black artists, many of whom were part of the Great Migration. Based on my interview with Michelle MiKinney, I also discuss how issues of suspicion, sustainability, and outreach affect Community Archives.


Library and Information Science

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.