May 23, 2022

Washington University Libraries Creates “Documenting Ferguson” Digital Repository

The digital repository launched earlier this month is discussed in this announcement from Washington University in St. Louis.

From the Announcement:

2014-09-17_19-35-54Washington University Libraries, the library system of Washington University in St. Louis, is collecting and preserving photographs, video and other content for the digital repository “Documenting Ferguson.”

Free and accessible to all, the online collection will serve as a lasting source of information regarding the Aug. 9 death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the ensuing protests and unrest.

Washington University librarians are accepting images, video, audio, artwork and stories related to the memorials, community meetings, rallies and protests occurring in Ferguson and the surrounding areas. Donors must be able to demonstrate clear copyright of materials.

“We want to have a place where anyone can deposit material,” said Rudolph Clay, head of Library Diversity Initiatives and Outreach Services and African & African-American Studies librarian. “There is a lot of content out there, and much of it is available on the Internet. But what happens over time is that a lot of that material disappears, and something you saw today might not be there in a week. We are making a commitment to preserve that material.”

To learn more or to submit material, visit

More and more, the modern library chronicles history as it happens, Clay said. The sheer volume of material available has increased exponentially, as has the ability to share it quickly. But Clay said “Documenting Ferguson” will be more than a clearinghouse. As the repository grows, librarians will provide links to books, scholarly articles and other materials.

“That’s what libraries do best — provide context,” Clay said. “As a library, we can connect users to content, whether it be newspapers or datasets, that deepen understanding and lead to meaningful solutions.”

The “Documenting Ferguson” repository is powered by Omeka technology from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and the Minnesota Historical Society.

View the Collection

Info About Contributing Media

Info About Contributing Web Content

See Also: New collection! Documenting Ferguson (via WUSTL Libraries Digital Gateway Blog)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.