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Preserve the Baltimore Uprising

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Preserve the Baltimore Uprising is a digital archive devoted to preserving and making accessible media created and captured by people and organizations involved in or witness to the protests following Freddie Gray's death in 2015.[1]

The Maryland Center for History and Culture is a community partner of the program.[2] The archive is crowd-sourced, and as of 2018, has over 3,000 documents including images and oral histories.[3] These documents sometimes tell different stories about the events than the ones told in mainstream media outlets, including portraying hope and reform rather than violence.[4] The archive is now considered a key resource in teaching about the protests[5] and about the history of Baltimore.[6] Materials from the archive were included in the Maryland Historical Society's 2016-2017 What & Why: Collecting at the Maryland Historical Society exhibit.[7]

The project was co-founded by Dr. Denise Meringolo, an Associate Professor and public historian at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County,[8] and Joe Tropea, Curator of Films & Photographs at the Maryland Historical Society.[9] Other collaborators include faculty from University of Baltimore, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Johns Hopkins University, as well as staff from the Maryland State Archives.[10] The idea for the archive grew out of Meringolo's awareness that the local community, and not just museums or archival institutions, should be able to tell the history of the events through their own documents.[11] Meringolo furthered work on the archive as a 2018-2019 Whiting Public Engagement Fellow.[3]

This is one of many grassroots digital projects emerging from the Black Lives Matter movement[12] aimed at recording the experiences of communities as events unfold, along with projects such as A People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland, Documenting Ferguson, and the Sandra Bland Digital Archive.[13] These projects also have in common a particular focus on themes of anti-discrimination, equality, and diversifying the historical record.[14]


  1. ^ "Home · Preserve the Baltimore Uprising: Your Stories. Your Pictures. Your Stuff. Your History". baltimoreuprising2015.org. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "Preserve the Baltimore Uprising". humanitiesforall.org. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Denise Meringolo". www.whiting.org. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "Digital archive of Freddie Gray protests gives Baltimoreans a voice in history". Christian Science Monitor. April 22, 2016. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "Baltimore Uprising Part II: What Happened" (PDF). Lewis Museum. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Arnold-Garza, Sara; Gadsby, Joanna (April 2, 2020). "Social justice and Baltimore: A brief history". College & Research Libraries News. 78 (1): 22–31. doi:10.5860/crln.78.1.9603.
  7. ^ "Objects, Photos From Baltimore Uprising 2015 Featured In New Maryland Historical Society Exhibit | Maryland Historical Society". www.mdhs.org. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  8. ^ "Denise Meringolo - History department - UMBC". history.umbc.edu. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "Joe Tropea's schedule for 2018 Conference for High Impact Research". 2018conferenceforhighimpactresea.sched.com. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  10. ^ "Objects, Photos From Baltimore Uprising 2015 Featured In New Maryland Historical Society Exhibit | Maryland Historical Society". www.mdhs.org. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Duque, Catalina Sofia Dansberger (March 9, 2018). "UMBC's Denise Meringolo continues Baltimore Uprising public history project through Whiting Fellowship". UMBC NEWS. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  12. ^ "Community-Based Approaches to Archives From the Black Lives Matter Movement". WITNESS Blog. September 2, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  13. ^ Aguayo, Angela J.; Patton, Danette Pugh; Bandonis, Molly (May 22, 2018). "Black Lives and Justice with the Archive: A Call to Action". Black Camera. 9 (2): 161–168. doi:10.2979/blackcamera.9.2.11. ISSN 1947-4237. S2CID 158187590.
  14. ^ Findlay, Cassie (September 1, 2016). "Archival activism". Archives and Manuscripts. 44 (3): 155–159. doi:10.1080/01576895.2016.1263964. ISSN 0157-6895.