S.A.V.E. Method

S.A.V.E Method (Outreach and Appraisal)

Engaging with marginalized communities to record their history is a significant responsibility, and it’s essential to approach it with sensitivity, respect, and intentionality. Stopping to check your intentions, assessing your relationships, and educating and archiving with care are crucial for several reasons.


Protestors picketing in 1960 at UMD


Stop and check your intentions for archiving born-digital records of marginalized identities

  • Avoid Exploitation: The history and experiences of marginalized groups have been exploited in the past, with their narratives often taken out of context or sensationalized. It’s essential to ensure that the intention behind the archival work is to empower and amplify their voices rather than exploit them.
  • Preserve Authenticity: Ensure that the stories and records are kept in a manner that retains their authenticity. The intention should be to capture the genuine experiences and perspectives of these communities.
  • Look for gaps in the record
  • Accountability
  • Discoverability (histories/narratives not accessible otherwise)

Stop and make sure to have culturally diverse voices helping inform decision-making process (the process should be inclusive)


Protest at UMD in 1960


Assess your relationship with historically underrepresented community(ies)

  • Has there been engagement in the past why or why not?
  • If there is evidence of previous attempts was it positive or negative (what can be learned from those attempts).
  • What are the challenges moving forward and how can you prepare yourself to address those challenges (baseline awareness is key, go into the community don’t expect community to come to you, assess your ability to invest REAL time).
  • Assess who is the custodian of digital record (seek permission!).
Protestors picketing in 1960 at UMD


View your options
* Should you use a post-custodial model
* Arm student leaders/organizations with information (hold workshops on preservation of digital content, privacy, curation, safety)
* Build relationships with community archives so you can make suggestions for other local repositories

Protest at UMD in 1960



  • Educate and archive with care (consider ethical concerns if you do acquire records)
  • Educate yourself on how the student groups may want to be represented in the archives, are there any concerns the community has
  • Educate yourself/team on language of community–make sure there is access to the archive –(create inclusive tagging and metadata)