Monday, February 22, 2010

Preserving Haitian History and Culture

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, scholars are beginning efforts to preserve Haiti's magnificent history and culture for the future. One idea being circulated among the Association of Black Anthropologists is for those with access to primary source Haitian material to coordinate with the Haitian embassy in Washington DC to collect and store those materials until the appropriate Haitian museum is prepared to accept them. More information will be provided as it becomes available; your feedback is welcome.

In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal recently reported on the unearthing of Alan Lomax's archive of Haitian research (conducted in collaboration with Zora Neale Hurston).


Unknown said...

That's an excellent idea. As the rebuilding of the country will be vastly influenced by many cultures, Haiti as we knew it will be a different country. Many of us will be viewed as "old school", hence it is important that we develop a frame of reference, not only for the youth, but for those who now have an interest in the country, without having had the benefit of having known Haiti, before.

musicmama said...

This is indeed a great and necessary initiative.
How can we find out if there is any focus on the preservation of tangible culture in the recovery/
rebuilding process?

CSA said...

Blog readers have submitted the following sites for further information:

Brooke Wooldridge is coordinating the Digital Library of the Caribbean's Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative. They are focusing on the libraries/archives in Haiti.

There is a report and an article in the Miami Herald on these efforts. The report is also available in the news section of the dloc homepage at

Josh Brewer offered the following:

The International Council on Archives (,
- The International Council of Museums (,
- The International Council on Monuments and Sites (, and
- The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (
- The Co‐ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (