The Co-archiving Toolbox as Open Source

The Co-archiving Toolbox is an archiving approach for increasing the diversity in public archives. It is designed to be used by archivists and museum professionals who are interested in assuming a co-archiving facilitation approach by engaging the subjects (the documented) in the shaping of archives. The toolbox includes a set of co-archiving practices aimed at to invite underrepresented voices to share and document their experiences from their perspectives and not through the lens of the “other”, that is, those who gather the documentation, interview, filter, select and archive.

The toolbox concept is developed by the Co-archiving project in Living Archives, in collaboration with the Refugee Documentation Project run by the Regional Museum in Kristianstad, Malmö Museums, Kulturen Museum and the Department of Cultural Sciences, Lund University. More about the Co-archiving Refugee Documentation Project

How to use the toolbox
The Co-archiving Toolbox is designed for archivists and museum professionals to use when collecting material in the field. It is meant to be administered by a public institution (a museum or an archive), left in the field for a period of two weeks, and used by the people who are being documented. By applying the archiving practices included in the toolbox, they are invited to document their life situations from their point of view with little interference from the institution.

For more information: 
– About the Co-archiving Toolbox
– Handbook for using the toolbox in the field

Two versions of the Co-archiving Toolbox.

The Co-archiving Toolbox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License, and open source. Instructions for how to build the physical toolbox, with all its materials and a handbook, are made available via Instructables to download, reproduce and adjust according to needs and interests:

More information
– About the Co-archiving Documentation project, contact:
Elisabet M. Nilsson,
Sofie Marie Ottsen Hansen,
School of Arts and Communication (K3), Malmö University

– About the toolbox design, contact:
Max Paulsson Hall,

For further reading
Nilsson, Elisabet M. & Hansen Ottsen, Sofie Marie (2018). The Co-archiving Toolbox – Designing conditions for diversity in public archives. Conference proceedings Design Research Society 2018 Catalyst, DRS2018, University of Limerick, Ireland, June 25-28.

Nilsson, Elisabet M. & Hansen Ottsen, Sofie Marie (2018). Re-thinking archiving for increased diversity – Insights from a co-design project with museum professionals and refugees. Conference proceedings Cumulus Paris 2018, Paris, France, April 11-13. 

Nilsson, Elisabet M. & Hansen Ottsen, Sofie Marie (2017). Becoming a co-archivist. ReDoing archival practices for democratising the access to and participation in archives. Conference proceedings Cumulus Kolding 2017, Kolding, Denmark, May 30-June 2. 

Nilsson, Elisabet M. (2016). Prototyping collaborative (co)-archiving practices – From archival appraisal to co-archival facilitation. Conference proceedings 22nd International Conference on Virtual Systems & Multimedia, Kuala Lumpur, October 17-21.

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