Samip Mallick is Executive Director, President and Co-founder of the South Asian American Digital Archive, before that he served as the Director of the Ranganathan Center for Digital Information (RCDI) at the University of Chicago Library.
ABA: In a few sentences, tell us what you’ll be presenting at ABA.
SM: I’m the Executive Director and Co-founder of the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), a non-profit organization newly relocated to Philadelphia working to document, preserve and provide access to South Asian American history through a digital-only archive. In my presentation at ABA I’ll share some of the stories we’ve collected in SAADA over the last four years, the response and feedback that we’ve had from the community, and some of the opportunities and challenges that I see for SAADA in the future. All the stories and materials SAADA collects are freely available online through our website at http://www.saadigitalarchive.org.
ABA: What do you hope audiences will get from your talk?
SM: I hope that the audience will learn more about the history of South Asians in the United States, a community whose history has typically not been included in textbooks, museums or in the archival record. While the focus of our organization and archive is on South Asian American history, I also hope to reflect on other histories that may have been overlooked by traditional archives, including those of new immigrant and other minority communities.
ABA: Which of the following is the best part of being an archivists?
SM: Dust makes me sneeze, so everything except for the dust!
ABA: On a scale from 1 – 10, (10 being hardest) how easy would it be for other archivists to implement the project you’re presenting here?
SM: While creating a non-profit organization like SAADA may not be easy, interrogating the archival record and identifying narratives that may have been overlooked is something that all archivists can do.
ABA: Thanks Samip! We look forward to hearing more about SAADA!