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Archival textually-rich materials--such as warranty deeds, mortgages, legal documents, and letter correspondence--can provide valuable historical insights, and if transcribed and analyzed, can produce data points in the form of unstructured text, tabular data, and geospatial assets. This presentation will provide an overview of the process Florida International University librarians went through to turn the papers of Dana A. Dorsey, Miami's first Black Millionaire, into data. Their work is guided by the concept of "collections as data" as a form of reparative archival practice, enabling the elevation of marginalized individuals' histories. The goal of reparative archival practice is to create a reflective practice that informs and challenges librarians and archivists to engage with different types of historical data to provide a more inclusive and comprehensive understanding of the past. The presentation will cover the ways in which ethical practices were implemented in each step of the initiative, including project planning, stakeholder involvement, data selection, and access.


Presented at the Southeast Data Librarian Symposium, November 2, 2023.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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