Innovating the Archives

Screenshot of Furious Flower prototype website
Screenshot of the Furious Flower Archive prototype website

A touchstone for the Flowerings Phase 1 planning grant (which led to the Phase 2 2022-2026 implementation grant) came in the Spring of 2019, when—in partnership with JMU’s interdisciplinary X-Labs and faculty from the College of Arts and Letters, College of Education, and College of Visual and Performing Arts—Furious Flower and the JMU Libraries supported a student curricular project to design a Furious Flower “digital archive.”

Drawing on faculty and staff expertise from across the institution, digital library systems and resources, and (most especially) the extensive and unique audiovisual and paper-based collections developed and stewarded through the partnership between Furious Flower and JMU Libraries Special Collections, thirty-three undergraduate students and six course instructors spent a semester building a prototype website that could inspire future interfaces to these precious cultural and educational materials.

View of the audience at tha 25th anniversary celebration for Furious Flower at the Smithsonian.
View of the audience at the 25th anniversary celebration for Furious Flower at the Smithsonian.

25th Anniversary Celebration

At a 25th anniversary celebration held for Furious Flower at the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African American History and Culture, JMU faculty and students presented movingly on their learning journey in the “Innovating the Archives” course.

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