The Project Co-Founders, Danielle and Katrina, met in an email on the SAA Women in Archives Roundtable (Women in Archives Section) listserv. They recognized the importance of preserving that moment in women’s history, especially given the centuries long archival silence in respect to women’s interaction with the state, which has in turn de-legitimized their history as political actors. Katrina and Danielle quickly divided the project roles: Katrina would coordinate the collection oral histories in as many cities as possible, and Danielle would coordinate the collection of physical materials, as well as the future cooperation between collecting institutions in order to assist in the creation of a digital aggregate of collected materials.
Katrina recruited oral history volunteers primarily through the use of social media, as well as direct contact with Sister March organizers. She created comprehensive guidelines on how to collect oral histories, as well as what metadata to collect, which technologies to use, what questions to ask, what interview release forms to use, as well as other materials in order to create as uniform a collection strategy as possible. By January 21st there were approximately 100 volunteers, who collected just over 600 oral histories. The most important tool used to coordinate oral history collection and deposit was GoogleDrive, which allowed for a streamlined workflow and less direct contact between the Katrina and the volunteers; it also made post-march organization far less intensive as each group deposited their materials into a city specific folder.
Danielle reached out to repositories through social media as well as through the professional listservs, both before and after the Women’s March on January 21st. Before the marches, she asked those institutions that had already jumped on board to help create a project Deed of Gift that volunteers could take with them the day of to collect materials. This was met with some resistance when institutions only wanted their Deeds of Gift used. After the march, she sent out ideas for a Memorandum of Understanding based loosely off of examples she had created at her employing institution as well as an agreement/contract for the Digital Transgender Archive, sent to her by one of the participating institutions. We left the scope of physical materials being collected up to the individual institutions, which did lead to the occasional issue of some institutions not accepting donations of protest signs from the marches.
For digital photographs taken at the Women’s March, Danielle worked with archivists in Austin, Texas to create photographic guidelines for coverage, file, donation and rights. Katrina created a Photographers Agreement for donations, as well as space in the Project’s Google Drive for upload. We created a folder for each city we had a photographer for, and emailed the photographers each unique links to their deposit folder for uploading their photographs and agreement.