Creating, archiving and exhibiting disability history: The oral histories of disability activists of the Carleton University Disability Research Group
Building a disability archives that is accessible is an ongoing challenge. At Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, this work began a decade ago with the formation of a modest collection of scholars interested in disability issues. The Carleton University Disability Research Group developed as a collective of scholars, graduate students, and non-governmental organisation workers from the fields of social work, engineering, history, library, and archives, including people with disabilities. Since 2013, it has worked to collect, archive, discuss and display histories of disability in Canada, using various media. This paper documents and analyzes the aspects of this work linked to information studies, from the role of archivists and librarians to the making of archives and exhibits with, for, and about people with disability. It presents innovative decisions, introduces unexpected benefits for all in the light of the project of a critical disability archival method and discusses the potential of universities as a site of practice. It takes its most recent project, the Oral histories of activists in the disability rights movement in Canada (1970–2020) as the main case.
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