Designing archival information systems through partnerships with Indigenous communities
Developing the Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes Model in Australia
Indigenous peoples in Australia have been heavily documented in colonial archives and collections. The past two decades have seen significant materials from Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) institutions being returned to Indigenous communities in Australia through physical or digital repatriation of materials. The digital return of materials requires both appropriate systems for returning both the digital collections, metadata and contextual information that relates to them, and agreements, policies, and procedures for meaningfully engaging with Indigenous communities throughout the process. Importantly, the information returned needs to be accessible, readable, and usable in local community contexts based on understanding local community needs. This paper discusses priorities around engaging with Indigenous peoples to reshape and build archival information systems and access points that support community requirements for digital return and management of cultural heritage materials in local settings. The paper discusses future priorities for designing archival information systems to support Indigenous sovereignty, including data stewardship and preservation approaches. These concerns are discussed and raised as part of the research and development of the global Mukurtu Content Management System (CMS) project, including within the New South Wales (NSW) Australian Mukurtu Hub.
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