RoPA, the Roadmap for Participatory Archiving, guides libraries and cultural organizations through the process of collaborating with community members to plan engaging and inclusive participatory archiving events and to create digital collections.

Using the Roadmap

How should you use this resource?

Building a Team

Who are your Project Team members?

Creating a Timeline

How do you create a timeline for planning your event?

The Community

Ensuring Inclusiveness

How can cultural competence inform your project?

Defining Community

Whose stories are you collecting?

Collecting Stories

Which stories are you collecting?

Engaging Participants

How can you encourage people to attend and contribute at your event?

The Event

Coordinating Logistics

What will you need to coordinate logistics for your event?

Obtaining Permissions

How can you handle copyright and get permission from Contributors?

Describing Items

What information can you collect about Contributors and their Items?

Copying Items

How can you make digital copies of Contributors' Items?

The Collection

Putting the Collection Online

How can you provide online access to the collection?

Preserving the Collection

How can you keep the collection safe for future generations?

Young boy holding a lunch box.
Mike Luciano, like many children of mill workers, delivered baskets filled with hot meals to his parents at the mill.

Participatory Archiving in Action

Mike Luciano is a third-generation paper maker whose roots extend to the Mayflower on his mother’s side; his father’s family immigrated from Abruzzo, Italy in 1908, joining a growing community of Italian stone masons and paper workers in Livermore Falls, Maine. Mike worked production, accounting, and human resources jobs during his 41 years of employment at the Otis and Androscoggin Mills. In 2018 he attended a story gathering at the Maine Paper and Heritage Museum where he shared his story in a video interview and contributed photographs to the My Maine Stories digital collection.

My Maine Stories is a storytelling forum produced by the Maine Historical Society in Portland, Maine, that hosts events and provides an online space for sharing recollections about life in the state. Stories include family memories about experiences at work and home as well as the impact of historical events. At the heart of My Maine Stories is the belief that the experience of every person with a Maine connection matters.