In an article released by MSU Alumni Magazine, MATRIX was recognized for its role in building and maintaining Michigan State University’s long-standing connection with Africa. Michigan State University is internationally recognized for its ongoing partnership with African institutions to solve challenges and conduct research related to Africa and the African diaspora and MATRIX is proud to be a significant contributor to that partnership.
MATRIX’s work with the African Online Digital Library (http://www.aodl.org) demonstrates the Center’s commitment to the preservation of African cultural heritage and the continued collaborative relationships MATRIX has been able to develop with both MSU-based partners— such as the African Studies Center and the Department of History —and with international partners and independent scholars. MATRIX is currently home to more than 20 collections of Africa-based materials, such as digital images, oral history interviews, archival video footage, original podcasts, and more. This focus and commitment to African scholarship and cultural heritage preservation is both a strength of MATRIX and a passion for future development.
The MSU Alumni article also talked extensively about how the partnership between Michigan State University and African countries is often rooted on the idea of building capacity amongst African partners and institutions. MATRIX has recently modeled this type of relationship with the Goreé Island Archaeological Digital Repository. This project— aimed at creating online, virtual 3D animations of artifacts from the Goreé Island dig site —demonstrated a reciprocal relationship between MATRIX and Senegalese partner institutions. In exchange for the Senegalese students’ and scholars’ subject matter expertise, MATRIX trained the same students in basic 3D visualization techniques, benefiting both parties and resulting in a more robust and sustainable final repository.
MATRIX has been delighted to be a part of preserving and promoting African history and cultural heritage and is thankful to be part of an institution where this interdisciplinary and internationally collaborative work is recognized and rewarded. We are indebted to many, many project partners who have made our work possible. We have enjoyed collaborating with them and look forward to future partnerships and projects. To learn more about MATRIX projects that focus on Africa which were not mentioned earlier in this article, please feel free to browse our “Projects” page at http://www2.matrix.msu.edu/projects.