Special issue ‘Archives that Matter. Infrastructures for Sharing Unshared Histories’

The special issue of NTIK – Nordic Journal of Information Science and Cultural Mediation on Archives that Matter. Infrastructures for Sharing Unshared Histories is now online at

The issue records and reflects research by academics, archivists, artists and activists up to, during, and after the release of the digital resources and digitized archives from the Danish West Indies (US Virgin islands), ‘celebrating’ the centennial of the islands being sold by the Danish State in 1917 and ‘giving back’ the archives to the islands and their citizens.

Archives that Matter, instigated across academia (Uncertain Archives, Copenhagen University, with Kristin Veel – the second keynote for this year’s DARAH Annual), art (Royal Danish Academy for Fine Arts), and archival institutions (Royal Library and National Archives), made an impact during and after the Centennial – forging research, art and citizen engagement across three continents (St Croix, Copenhagen and Christiansborg Ghana); and definitely with networks and work still going on and to be done.

More about the special issue

The special issue is dedicated to critical and aesthetic engagements with colonial archives in the wake of digitization. Taking the digitization of the Danish colonial archives as a starting point, the issue brings together articles, essays and artistic contributions that address the various materialities of the archival record, while pointing to the need to reimagine the infrastructures best suited to share digitized colonial heritage.

The issue includes contributions by the Virgin Islands Studies Collective (La Vaughn Belle, Tami Navarro, Hadiya Sewer and Tiphanie Yanique), La Vaughn Belle, Jeannette Ehlers, Ayana Omilade Flewellen, Ethelene Whitmire, Lene Asp Frederiksen, Dorothy Amenuke, Marronage and Hvid[me] Archive (Annarosa Krøyer Holm and Miriam Haile). 

The authors’ hope with this issue is to chart some of the ongoing pathways for moving forward in the wake of the 2017 centennial of Denmark’s sale of the former Danish West Indies (today USVI); to foreground critical engagements with colonial records; and to highlight the productive dialogues between artistic research, digital studies and decolonial practices.