Works in Progress Webinar: Corrective collecting—A practical, holistic, EDI-centered documentation strategy for community archives

Learn how a corrective collecting framework guides the Labor Archives of Washington’s efforts to build ongoing community collaborations and make its collections more reflective of the full spectrum of the region’s workers.

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Slides - Download .pptx file
Research and Learning Agenda for Archives, Special, and Distinctive Collections in Research Libraries
Labor Archives of Washington
Archived Labor Websites  
Topical Listing of Labor Collections
Digital Collections Portal
Labor Archives Publicity  
Labor Archives Radio Show
Labor Archives Television Segment


Conor Casey, Head, Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries


"Corrective collecting" and “democratizing documentation” are shorthand for intellectual frameworks that place the stories of stakeholder communities and the geographic region at the center of core archival activities, interpretation, outreach, public programming, and exhibitions. An essential aspect of this approach is the creation of sustained, programmatic relationships with community partners.

Corrective collecting rejects the proposition that archival neutrality is possible, and—as the name suggests—it aims to self-consciously “correct” omissions created by the biases or assumed neutrality of the past. Curators review existing collections holistically, soliciting community stakeholders' opinions to identify gaps and to democratize the documentation of the collections. Rather than recreate transactional, colonial relationships in which donor community histories are treated as assets, divorced from stakeholder communities and contexts, the approach places the building of relationships and the fostering of community at the heart of its efforts.

The Labor Archives of Washington (LAW) is a collaborative project of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries. The LAW is a community-centered organization that specializes in documenting the history of unions and working people in the Pacific Northwest. In this webinar, Conor Casey, Head of LAW, will share how corrective collecting guides LAW’s efforts to make its collections more reflective of the full spectrum of workers in the region and has resulted in community-focused strategies.

Join this webinar to learn more about the LAW’s strategy to create overlapping collecting, outreach, education, and access initiatives to build ongoing collaborations that will benefit all parties: the archives, the community of creators, and the community of researchers. 

This webinar will be of interest to administrators, curators, collection managers, and anyone working to steward, administer, and provide access to archives, and special and distinctive collections.

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series to talk about work happening in OCLC Research – we'd like to present our work informally and get feedback from you, our Partners. We'd also like this to be a venue for Partner institutions. What are you working on that everyone should know about? What input would help you move forward? Let us know!


02 June 2021


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]


Live webinar sessions are exclusively for OCLC Research Library Partners, but the recordings are publicly available to all.