The University of Chicago Chronicle has published an article on Will Faber, a first-year PhD student who is digitizing a local archivist’s collection of Bronzeville residents’ migration stories. It began a final project for the course “Engaging Ethnomusicology”: Faber worked with Joanie Friedman, the Civic Knowledge Project’s coordinator of the Southside Arts and Humanities Network, to conduct in-depth interviews with some member organizations. In the process, he met Sherry Williams of the Bronzeville/Black Historical Society and discovered a wealth of information that was difficult for researchers to access. From the article:
Williams was surprised that Faber was interested since the scenes from life in Bronzeville that she has collected are not limited to musical performance. “It’s 11 years of all kinds of tape that no one but me had ever seen. It’s full of a lot of different things: architecture, civic events, church meetings and oral histories.
“But Will’s interest was piqued, and he told me that he had the expertise to digitize the material. Faber outlined a plan to catalogue content on the digital videotapes that included creating subject captions. His work comes at a time when our funding has waned. The film is the most important cultural asset of our archives. Many of the historic sites are now demolished.”
When asked why this kind of work appealed to him, Faber said simply, “These are people’s stories, there’s a responsibility to preserve and present them properly.”
For more information, see the full University of Chicago Chronicle article here.