Archives and Manuscripts Blog 7, Media Portrayal of Archival Issues

In a recent interview with The Cut, writer Angie Cruz discussed her creation of an online digital archive in the form of an instagram account. This archive was created due to the absence of Dominican women in the CUNY archive. For the article to lead with the creation of the archive I would have liked to see the interviewer go deeper into Cruz’s archival methods. So far the acquisition has been based around individual Dominican women and families sending in photos of their relatives with names and dates attached. The way the photos have been sent in has been digital at least according to the instagram page, which has a directive to send via email or direct message. I admire the project though I do wonder about the backup or preservation involved. In the past Instagram has never been particularly reliable for maintaining photos; there’s no backup, definite security issues due to the nature of the platform, and the possibility of mass reporting means that these photos are somewhat precarious. There are also potential issues with accessibility and how searchable this archive is. This isn’t a show of doubt of Cruz’s methods necessarily, I write this blog more due to a disappointment in The Cut for leading with the archive and keeping their exploration of it and archives in general fairly shallow. I also was admittedly disappointed in he interview for discussing the CUNY archives relative lack of documentation of Dominican women’s lives without discussing the possibility of their existence in other archives, and the entire piece came off as somewhat simplistic.

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