PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A unique, student-led project is the foundation for a partnership between Brown University, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the National Archive of Brazil, and the State University of Maringá (UEM). “Opening the Archives” is designed to provide online public access to the NARA-held State Department of Political Affairs and Relations declassified documents pertaining to U.S.-Brazilian relations from the turbulent 1960s, 70s and 80s.
To prepare to participate in “Opening the Archives,” Brown students studied Brazil’s history with renowned scholar, Professor James N. Green, and were trained by Brown University Library staff in the standardized modes of organization, indexing/description, and digitization. Directly engaged with rarely seen historical documents at the NARA in DC, Brown students are now working alongside students from Brazil’s State University of Maringá to organize and provide indexing terms to these distinctive documents as they are digitized and made accessible through the Brown Digital Repository (BDR). Created by Brown University Library, the BDR is an online service for collecting, preserving, and disseminating intellectual output. Once in the repository, the NARA documents will be accessible via the internet to scholars around the world.
The “Opening the Archives” project reinforces President Rousseff’s promotion of public access to government information, her establishment of the National Truth Commission, and examination of the abuses of the former military dictatorship. And, the project has the potential to become a model for future collaborations between NARA and other universities, enabling NARA to make its historic records more widely available while also providing invaluable learning and research opportunities for students and faculty.
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Contact: Jennifer Braga | 401-863-6913