Challenge of archiving the #MeToo movement

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 13:30 in Psychology & Sociology

For decades, Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library has been the nation’s leading repository for a range of primary-source materials documenting the lives and legacies of women in America. Its collections are crammed with letters and posters, journals and photographs — the physical records of an individual, a family, a social action, a political campaign. Today, newer collections often arrive with hard disks and thumb drives; “papers” now include emails. But until recently, social media had not figured largely. Then came a cultural moment that shook the nation and helped transform the way the library collects and curates material in a communications age when hashtags can muster millions and tweets are commentary, conversation, and official declaration. In October 2017, sexual-abuse accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein triggered a tsunami of harassment and abuse allegations leveled at men from every corner of American society. The moment also sparked the wide use of #MeToo by survivors who...

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