Archiving Egypt's revolution: The ‘University on the Square Project’, documenting January 25, 2011 and beyond
During the 18 days in early 2011 that came to be known as Egypt’s January 25 Revolution, a group of archivists, faculty, administrators, and students at the American University in Cairo met to devise ways to document those historic events. The resulting project, University on the Square: Documenting Egypt’s 21st Century Revolution, addressed the challenge of collecting the tangible remains of the protests like banners and tear gas canisters and the many digital photographs and videos taken by observers and participants. It also launched an oral history effort to record the experiences of a wide range of participants in the uprising and the subsequent protest and political activity in Egypt. Throughout the course of its activities the involvement of the community played an important role in the initiative. This paper describes the project’s methods and what it has collected, as well as challenges faced. Other projects to document Egypt’s revolution, and a comparison of their goals with that of AUC’s efforts, will also be covered.