The mission of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is to document American women of the past and present for the future through its collections, research support, public programming, and exhibitions. In support of its mission, the has Library embarked on a large scale project to comprehensively document the #metoo movement and the accompanying political, legal, and social battles.
Through the #metoo Digital Media Collection, Schlesinger Library will provide enduring scholarly access to content including social media conversations, press stories, and multimedia declarations and rebuttals: resources which are now pervasive in our collective consciousness and social media feeds, yet will prove acutely vulnerable in the long-term, as proprietary platforms, individual user-accounts, and the ever-changing landscape of the Web continually transform.
The project is being guided by a steering committee of renowned Harvard experts in the fields of history, law, business, and data science as well as librarians and archivists with expertise in digital preservation and data analysis.
This project is an extension of the Library’s mission and builds from the core values and ethics established by the American Library Association and the Society of American Archivists. Grounded first in archival scholarship, the ethical framework guiding this project draws on an existing body of literature on ethical issues related to web archiving, social media archiving, data curation, digital preservation, and Internet research.
The #metoo Digital Media Collection project team is committed to being transparent about our practices and centering archival ethics in our work, whether that work is technical or curatorial. We will maintain a public website in order to communicate our goals, practices, and collections, including how archived material can be accessed and under what conditions. We will abide by social media providers’ terms of service in distribution of any data that is collected. Finally, we will provide clear contact information to allow members of the public to contact the project team with questions about this work.