Literature illuminating the relationship between contemporary art and historical archives around the turn of the twenty-first century and how these interactions inform the evolution of archives in a digital multicultural age is the topic of this review. The literature reveals the extent to which art has been a means for members of marginalized groups to address their representation in historical archives, and also a means for archives to connect with a broader audience. Collaborations between artists and historical archives add new dimension to the debate about the nature of the archive as a creation in and of itself, and in turn the question of whether participatory culture may be a necessary component in achieving more complete representation of all segments of the community. Types of relationships explored in this review include: the questioning of and re-imagining of the archive by artists, particularly those from marginalized groups; the blending of art and digital archives; and how such collaborations have informed the mission and practical concerns of archives. As digitization leads to increasing convergence of previously distinct cultural heritage collections and enthusiasm for participatory platforms accelerates, interactions between individual artists, people from marginalized communities, and GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) will continue to evolve and expand. From this literature review emerge observations about prior collaborations from around the world as they inform future developments.

About Author

Suzanne Summers LaPierre holds a MLIS from University of South Carolina, Columbia, a MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and a BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design. Her career has included working in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM). Current research interests include media literacy initiatives and GLAM collaboration. She currently works in Information Services for Fairfax County Public Library in Virginia.