Skip to Main Content

ROAR: Repairing Our Archival Record

Information on ROAR (Repairing Our Archival Record) the University Archives's community archives initiative

You're the Expert

You have more knowledge and insight on your or your community's experience at CMU than an outsider. We encourage you to continue working with the Archivists after donating your materials so that your collection is cared for and described in a way that is reflective and respectful of your community.

You may be asked:

  • What is the importance of what is being documented in the materials you wish to donate. What do they mean to you or your community?
  • How do you identify?
  • What language should and shouldn't be used in describing your collection?
  • Is there any historical, social, or cultural context needed to explain the meaning of the language being used?
  • Do you have any requirements on how the materials can be utilized in the future?
  • Do you have any concerns regarding personally identifying information or other privacy issues?


The language we use to identify with or describe ourselves is unique to our individual or communal experiences. The meanings of these terms are forever evolving, taking on new meanings, being replaced by more correct language, or by reclaiming previously harmful or offensive terms. The materials you are donating to the University Archives will take on new meanings and context over time when viewed by community members and researchers in the future. By participating in the descriptive process you are helping future Tartans understand the meaning behind your words and your experience.

What to share

What to donate:

  • Photographs, audio and video recordings
  • Meeting minutes, agendas, and reports
  • Annual reports
  • Membership lists
  • Publicity materials: posters, fliers, brochures, newsletters, and event programs
  • Materials related to activities, events, initiatives, and community projects
  • Scrapbooks and photo albums
  • Correspondence and memoranda
  • Organizational histories
  • Personal narratives : oral histories, personal essays, and interviews
  • Websites
  • Social Media
  • Merch: t-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc.


What NOT to donate:

  • Plaques, trophies, and metals
  • Blank forms
  • Duplicate materials (keep two copies of the original and any annotated copies)
  • Bank statements, receipts, cancelled checks


Items donated will be rehoused in the University Archives and made available to the public. If you are concerned about personal identifying information or other privacy issues, you can discuss this with the Archivist. While some limited restrictions can be placed, the goal of the archive is to make our collections accessible to the public and donated items cannot be permanently restricted.

Activism and Advocacy at CMU

The University Archives are interested in documenting the history of activism and social movements at CMU. If you've participated in protests, demonstrations, or campaigns we'd love to hear from you. 

What we're looking for:

  • Social Movements:
    • Civil rights
    • Racial Justice
    • LGBTQAI rights
    • Women's equality and liberation
    • Disability rights
    • War protests
    • Labor issues and worker's rights
    • Academic freedom and free speech
    • Environmental 


  • Materials:
    • photographs
    • videos
    • fliers, posters*
    • calls for action
    • journal entries, personal essays
    • blog posts, social media posts


Items donated will be rehoused in the University Archives and made available to the public. If you are concerned about personal identifying information or other privacy issues make sure to discuss this with an Archivist. 

*Protest posters can be tricky for the archive to store due to their unique size and materials. Consider submitting a photograph of your sign.