Documenting, Studying, and Redressing Racial Violence: Implementing a Digital Archive for the Civil Rights Restorative Justice Project

Rhonda Jones



In keeping with the conference theme Windows, Frames, and Landscapes the subject of my presentation will focus on the steps and actions taken to design and curate a digital archive. Seeking to resolve undocumented murders, the project’s efforts to document the full portrayal of the regenerative effects of the denial of basic rights, examinations of incidences of African Americans who were subjected to racial violence between 1930 and 1970. Though considered macabre and voyeuristic, the repository will consist of compiled materials such as oral testimony, newspapers, census data, genealogical searches, bibliographic sources, and ephemera that will be preserved and presented to scholars and wider audiences. Offering a panoramic perspective of individuals and southern communities that were subjected to the miscarriages of justice in the form of harassment, terror, personal injury, and murder, the digital archive’s emphasis on robust metadata will be expansive and built by researchers and community stakeholders.



An experienced archivist and public historian, Dr. Rhonda Jones holds a Ph.D. in United States History and Master’s degrees in Library Science, with a concentration in Archives and Records Management, and Public History. Currently serving as the Lead Archivist for the Civil Right Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University School of Law, she has worked as an archival consultant, an Assistant Professor/Graduate Director of Public History, a project manager on the Behind the Veil Oral History project, and participated in intensive training seminars and workshops on Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, archive fundamentals, and digital curation. She credits her success to the mentorship, guidance, and friendships she cultivated as a Spectrum scholar, IRDW fellow, Mosiac, and Preparing Future Faculty fellow.