January 23, 2022

Research Resource: A Decade After the Occupy Movement, A New Digital Archive Chronicles its History—and Continuing Influence

From Case Western Reserve University:

Launched at Case Western Reserve University this summer, the open-source Occupy Archive offers citizens and scholars a chance to revisit the multi-faceted movement—and recognize its roots in contemporary calls for reform and justice

The Occupy Movement was one of the first massive demonstrations to join online advocacy with in-person protests.

Culminating in hundreds of encampments and marches worldwide against income inequality, the movement also promoted causes for justice and reform that continue to influence present-day demonstrations for societal change.

Now, as the movement approaches its 10th anniversary, a home for its history—a free-to-access open-source digital archive—has launched this summer at Case Western Reserve University.

Funded by the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship in the Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve—and led by a scholar of the Occupy Movement—the Occupy Archive preserves more than 1,200 pages of documentation and offers access to more than 400 digitized materials that help bring to life the movement’s massive scale, grassroots flavor and enduring impact.

“This archive is a resource that can help us all better understand and evaluate a period of activism that is both historic and contemporary—that was both ephemeral and transformative,” said Heather McKee Hurwitz—a lecturer in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve—who has studied the movement since its earliest incarnations in 2010.


As a Freedman Fellow at the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship at Case Western Reserve, Hurwitz led a team of librarians and student researchers who scanned hundreds of items, created a searchable tagging system, and designed teaching tools and research guides to help students, teachers, and the public use the archive.

“Creating the resource has been a dream of mine for years,” said Hurwitz. “The librarians and students at Case Western Reserve saw the potential and had vision and knowledge to bring it to life.”

Hosted by Open Science Framework (OSF)—a research data storage and collaboration platform free to all university students, staff, and faculty —the archive is available online.

The Freedman Fellows Program assists and funds faculty and researchers to complete digital scholarship projects. The Freedman Fellows Endowment, established by Samuel B. and Marian K. Freedman and additional CWRU campus partners, funded the project. The team of librarians and students who built the archive include Zoe Nguyen, Jared Bendis, Ben Gorham, Amanda Koziura, Anne Kumer, Jason Choi, Naomi Langer, Kyle Jones, Mark Clemente, Riley Simko and Stephanie Becker.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.