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Franco American Digital Archives/Portail franco-américain: Centering Franco-American Communities in Digital Discovery

  • July 13, 2022
  • 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Zoom



The home page of the Franco American Digital Archives website

Franco American Digital Archives/Portail franco-américain: Centering Franco-American Communities in Digital Discovery

Franco American Digital Archives/Portail franco-américain (FADA/PFA) is an online portal to collections from the French-Canadian and Acadian diaspora in the US Northeast. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Maine, FADA/PFA is developed and supported by the Franco American Collections Consortium, a five-university regional collaborative.

This presentation will introduce FADA/PFA to the Digital Commonwealth community. Cognizant of historic Franco-American communities throughout Massachusetts, presenters will outline their collaborative efforts to support community researchers and call attention to overlooked archives within the digital landscape by:

  • conceptualizing a multi-institutional portal

  • identifying and aggregating collections from over 75 North American institutions

  • building contributing partnerships

  • transforming and translating metadata with culturally specific markers, and

  • building a sustainable, post-custodial, bilingual digital system.

Presenters Susan Pinette (Director of Franco American Programs and Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Maine) and Jacob Albert (Program Manager for the Franco American Programs, University of Maine) will detail how their work attends to culturally-specific knowledge construction, "centering" Franco-American communities and local knowledge within common archival practice. Presenters will also discuss the consortium and portal’s aims to grow and evolve. These include plans to raise awareness of this historically underserved cultural and language community, and to increase collaboration throughout the United States and Canada.

This event is free of charge. 

Register by July 12.  You will receive the Zoom link when you register.

About the speakers  

Susan Pinette, PhD, is a scholar of Franco-Americans. Her work explores the specificities of contemporary Franco-American literature, arguing for its relevance to the broader arenas of ethnic and migration studies. She aims to show that Franco-American ethnic fiction operates within a continent-wide semiotic space not restricted to the United States but one that includes French Canada. She contextualizes her scholarship on Franco-Americans within transnational migration studies, especially as it concerns definitions of community, social class, and diaspora. She is Director of Franco American Programs and Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Maine. She has published numerous articles, developed a Franco-American Studies curriculum, received state and federal funding grants, and served as a liaison between scholars, business leaders, governments, and the public. 

Jacob Albert, MSLIS, is an archivist and librarian who specializes in Franco American Studies. He is Program Manager for the Franco American Programs at the University of Maine where he manages FADA/PFA. He has stewarded cultural materials and taught reference and archival courses in university, high school, and museum environments; published on information resources and Franco-American communities; and collaborated with various efforts to preserve and disseminate Franco-American arts, literature, and historical materials. He developed Franco American Library, an online subject bibliography in Franco American Studies. He served as PI for the Franco American Portal Project NEH grant.

Kate Bradley (moderator) is the Librarian/Archivist for the French Institute at Assumption University where she manages Franco-American archival and library collections. She worked previously at The Trustees of Reservations (Massachusetts), the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum (Palm Beach, FL), and the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation (Plymouth, VT). She is on the board of Digital Commonwealth and serves on the advisory council of the Digital Public Library of America.

Header image: The homepage of the Franco American Digital Archives website, showing a black and white photograph of an audience gathered around a replica ship on a wooden float pulled by four horses. 

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