Dolls and Documentation: Seeking the Stories Behind African American Art

Humans thrive on stories. We share them in every way imaginable, whether through our words, images, or the objects we keep that help us to remember our past. Museums and archives are one means of remembering and protecting the stories that are otherwise lost after a few generations. The stories of our existence can endure in this way, but what happens when these stories are lost?

As Take Note: The Importance of Keeping Detailed Records describes, museums and archives struggled in the past with keeping records relating to their collections. Documentation was written on paper and later lost or was never written down to begin with. Unmarked photographs provide no context for the image being viewed. The unidentified people pictured in…

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