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Teaming Up with the KY MEdia Bank

African American man, possibly William Harbut, leading a small child riding on a horse. The original housing for this image was labeled "Harbut." Courtesy of Kentucky Historical Society, William B. Ogden Negatives, Graphic 1. The Kentucky Historical Society needs your help in identifying the people, places and events seen in the photographs of the William B. Ogden Studio Negatives. Please contact [email protected] to share your information.

Post date: April 4, 2019

As with any attempt to reframe what has typically been ignored or misrepresented in the media and in public institutions, changing public perceptions of African Americans in equine professions will happen one small contribution at a time. One photo, blog post, tweet, share, or like at a time.

Crowdsourcing Requires Community and Courage

It takes a little encouragement to feel comfortable sharing your memorabilia. Seeing others take the lead can prompt a memory, acknowledge value, or simply make it easier to join a movement. To that end, the IMH is teaming up with the KY MEdia Bank, an initiative by the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS). Beginning in April and running through June, the KY MEdia Bank’s topic is African Americans in the Horse Industry.

What Is the KY MEdia Bank?

As stated on their website, “It’s a place to share and archive your personal history of events, locations, stories and memories – things that show what it means to be a Kentuckian and how what’s happened in your past can drive the decisions you make tomorrow.”

They put the emphasis on YOU telling YOUR own story.

The KY MEdia Bank’s topic changes every few months to keep things interesting, and to give a broad range of opportunities for people to add their voice. They also make it easy for groups to work together on a special project and submit their collection on the website. The site includes tips for educators to have students conduct interviews and upload them as a searchable collection. Connecting with the Oral History Commission is also easy, and they can provide training, equipment and support.

How Is the Bank Different from the Chronicle?

The KY MEdia Bank is a temporary exhibit. The digital files used on the site are not preserved for long-term storage. Similarly, the Chronicle website will only display files and link to archives and other permanent repositories. However, one main difference will be the longevity of the topic. After the Chronicle website is launched, it will be open to submissions indefinitely. One would hope that there will always be African Americans working with horses, and there will always be stories worth telling about your lives and experiences.

How Do They Work Together?

When you submit your images, stories, or documents to the KY MEdia Bank, you have the option of allowing the IMH to contact you about your items. We will follow up to see if you’d like to add them to the Chronicle.

The KY MEdia Bank’s theme of African Americans in the Horse Industry is an example of an institutional partnership between IMH and KHS that promotes our belief that museums, archives, and libraries belong to the people, or in other words, to the crowds. Taking care to preserve and respectfully share those pieces of history builds the source of a rich and vibrant culture. Crowdsourcing, as the KY MEdia Bank does now and as the Chronicle will do soon, empowers communities and individuals to tell their own story in their own way.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.