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Re/Collecting - An Ethnic Studies Memory Project of California's Central Coast

The Re/Collecting Project is an "ethnic studies memory project of California's Central Coast"—you can call it Re/Co for short. Our aim is to digitally capture and make publicly accessible the rich history of the diverse—yet under-documented—communities of the region, which includes San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. The images, documents, stories, and mementos that we digitize generally cannot be found in any public repositories. Instead, they reside with individuals—in their family albums, in their attics or garages, in their memories. By digitizing these materials, this project will make centrally and publicly available historically significant materials and stories. We thus seek to encourage community and academic research by providing information-rich materials for a regional understanding of these local communities.

To collect these materials and the stories they tell, we organize “Re/Collecting Days” where we invite families and individuals to recollect their stories as well as to participate in collecting their story materials for digital preservation and access. We are also now set up to make house calls--bringing and setting up our equipment to individual homes—and to have a digitization and interview booth at community gatherings. Working in the "field," we interview individuals and families and scan their photos and documents while they wait. We do not ask for any donations of physical objects—only permission to digitize and make those images publicly available. We also provide information on how to best preserve family papers and photographs for future generations to appreciate.

Our goal is to make the collected stories and materials available by Spring 2013 through a searchable online database, which we are currently building. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Project Director, .  You can also visit the Re/Collecting Project website for information on past or future collecting days.

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