Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

The Annotated Archive of Archival Resources

Representative Image

Click here to access the Annotated Archive of Archival Resources Zotero Library

Project Objectives

The Annotated Archive of Archival Resources is a new educational resource that is produced and managed by A/CA members Katie Russell and Sam Thomson at Concordia University. This project takes the form of a shared Zotero bibliography with annotated entries submitted from researchers across the Archive/Counter-Archive research network. The aim of this project is to provide an accessible, public-facing resource to facilitate researchers in finding scholarship relevant to the study and creation of audiovisual archives by Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), Black communities and People of Colour, women, LGBT2Q+ and immigrant communities. It offers a categorized and annotated listing of important works from diverse bodies of scholarship related to this central topic. The Annotated Archive of Archival Resources is integrated with Zotero to make use of the platform's searchability and capacity for sharing and formatting bibliographic data. With Zotero's tag system, researchers using the bibliography are able to filter scholarly resources by a wide variety of topics and easily locate annotations that address their specific fields of inquiry.

Members of A/CA are welcome and encouraged to add their own publications, or any other additional relevant books and articles, to the bibliography and add their own annotations. Below you will find links to a list of potential texts to annotate and instructions for how to submit new entries to the bibliography using a system of pre-approved tags and categories.

Annotation Guidelines

Each annotation should consist of a concise and non-evaluative synopsis of a scholarly work's topic and its key interventions, written in clear and accessible language. The goal is to give researchers working in a variety of disciplinary and institutional contexts, and at different career stages the information needed to determine whether a text is relevant to their needs. Annotations should be one or two paragraphs in length and should begin with a topic sentence detailing the book/chapter/article's topic and/or thesis. They should proceed to give the reader a sense of how the work develops its ideas and, critically, should highlight its major interventions.

Given the diversity of the texts included in the bibliography, which range from short articles to single-author books and edited collections, the length and detail of annotations will vary considerably. As a result, there are differences in the guidelines for annotating books and for annotating shorter works.

When annotating an article, book chapter, or other items of comparable length:

  • Maintain a length of between 100 and 300 words.
  • Summarize the main arguments/interventions of the text.

When annotating a book:

  • Limit the length of an annotation to a maximum of 500 words.
  • If the book is organized around a central set of arguments/interventions, summarize these as best you can while adhering to the annotation length requirements.
  • Indicate the breadth of topics addressed in the book, even though you may be unable to describe in detail the interventions made with respect to each topic. This is particularly important in the case of edited collections, which necessarily feature a wider array of topics and approaches than single-author books.


To ensure each contributor is properly credited for their work, each published synopsis will end with a set of initials. Users of the bibliography can find the corresponding names on our list of contributors at the bottom of this page. 


This bibliography is divided into five categories, which will allow users to more easily find texts relevant to their interests. An entry in the bibliography should largely be confined to one of the categories below, though some texts will necessitate inclusion in multiple. When submitting your synopsis, you should indicate the most appropriate category.

Archival Creative Practices: These texts relate to artistic and creative media practices which use archival material. They may discuss, among other things, the creative deployment of the archive and artists’ work with archival materials, including their appropriation or remediation.

Archival Practices and Policies: These texts address concerns related to the practice and profession of archiving and preservation. They may discuss, among other things, archival access, digital archiving practices, ethical concerns, and technology within the profession.

Critical Scholarship on Audiovisual Archives: These texts are explicitly concerned with audiovisual archives or the use of archival material in audiovisual contexts. They may discuss, among other things, film institutions and their archives, or the exhibition and display of moving image archives.

Epistemologies of the Archive: These texts address broader, more theoretical issues related to archives and their place in culture. They may include, among other things, philosophical inquiries into archives, broader discussions of archives and marginalized communities, or histories of archives.

Pedagogy and Outreach: These texts address pedagogical concerns related to archives and how archives and archival materials are used within different communities. They may include, among other things, discussions of how to teach with and through archives or reflections by archivists on how to foster community engagement.


To allow users to further refine their search for texts on Zotero, every entry should include between 3 and 5 tags. The list of pre-existing tags is below, and you should draw from this list as much as possible. If you feel an important tag is missing, you may suggest one. Please ensure that your suggestion is not adequately covered by any existing tags and that it is likely to be useful for other texts beyond the one you are writing about. You must include your list of tags alongside your synopsis and clearly indicate which tags you are proposing to be added. For example: “Tags: archival theory, gender, decolonization, Latin American media (suggested).”

Current list of tags

  • Access
  • African media
  • Amateur filmmaking and home movies
  • Approaches for reading archives
  • Archival institutions
  • Archival theory
  • Archival training
  • Archives and the production of histories
  • Asian media
  • Colonial archives
  • Colonialism
  • Community archives
  • Contemporary art
  • Copyright and legislation
  • Critiques of positivism
  • Decolonization
  • Diasporic media
  • Digital archives
  • Ethics
  • Ethnography
  • Feminism
  • Found footage
  • Gender
  • Histories of archives
  • Indigenous archives
  • Indigenous media
  • Indigenous ontologies
  • Mass media archives
  • Materiality
  • Media reception
  • Media exhibition
  • Memory
  • Methodologies
  • National cinemas
  • National identity
  • New media
  • Online archives
  • Oral history
  • Practical applications of theory
  • Queer and trans archives
  • Queer and trans media
  • Representation
  • Technologies
  • Terminology

Selecting a Text for Annotation

To select a text, first consult the list of citations in need of annotation: (Updated) Master List - Google Docs

In order to prevent duplicate annotations, indicate your intent to write an annotation in a comment on the Google Doc. Do this via the following steps:

  1. Select the citation
  2. Press the ‘Add comment’ button to open the comment feature
  3. Write the comment in the following format: “Claimed (Date) - (Initials)”

Please claim only one text at a time. Claims may be removed if more than a month has elapsed without an annotation being submitted. These rules are in place to enable contributors to annotate texts that interest them and to ensure the steady progress of the project.

Once your annotation has been received and entered into Zotero, the editors will remove the citation from the list of annotations. You do not need to do this yourself.

If you are submitting a text that has not been pre-selected as part of the list of citations, please answer ‘No’ to the related question in the Google Form and ensure that the text in question has not already been featured in the Zotero bibliography: Archive/Counter-Archive Master List Bibliography | Zotero.

Annotations of texts not on the list are welcome, but the editors reserve the right to assess the relevance of texts to the Annotated Bibliography Project. In the event a citation cannot be included on the Zotero page, you will be informed of the decision via e-mail.

Submitting an Annotation

Submit completed annotations via the Google Form: Archive/Counter-Archive Bibliography Project Annotation Submission Form (google.com).

After Submitting

After you submit your annotation, our editors will review your synopsis and may make minor changes to your text for clarity or amend your suggested tags or categories for consistency. If more significant changes are required of your annotations, our editors will be in touch. You will then be able to make the suggested adjustments and resubmit your redrafted synopsis.

List of Contributors

Please see the list and biographies of existing contributors to the Archive/Counter-Archive Bibliography Project below. The initials listed after each name correspond to the contributor’s attribution within the Zotero entries.

Monica Foster (MF) is a graduate student in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University. She received her BA in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include classical Hollywood cinema, melodrama, analytical psychology, the healing power of images, and the works of David Lynch. 

Thomas Gow (TG) is a PhD student in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University, where he is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Synoptique. He is a settler scholar studying the relationships between cinematic narratives and settler colonialism in its contemporary institutional and discursive dimensions. His FRQSC-funded research currently focuses on feature films and television series produced by Indigenous filmmakers working in the context of diverse nation-states including Canada, Australia, and Israel/Palestine. He holds a BA and MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto.

Catherine Russell (CR) has been teaching at Concordia in the Cinema Department since 1990. She has been named Distinguished University Professor of Film Studies. She is the author of five books, including Experimental Ethnography: The Work of Film in the Age of Video (Duke, 1999), Archiveology: Walter Benjamin and Archival Film Practices (Duke, 2018), two books on Japanese cinema, and Narrative Mortality: Death, Closure, and New Wave Cinemas (Minnesota, 1990). Her articles on documentary cinema, Japanese cinema, and experimental film have appeared in numerous journals, collections, readers, and anthologies. Her book, The Cinema of Barbara Stanwyck: 26 Short Essays on a Working Star, is forthcoming from University of Illinois Press. Please see www.catherinerussell.ca.

Yuri Stelmazuk-Payeur (YSP) is a graduate student in the Film and Moving Image Studies program at Concordia University. He is interested in the evolution of cinema and how new technologies might change the medium. Parts of his research concern gaming studies, notably how video games and cinema are both heavily influencing one another: video games which incorporate cinematographic production, and films who in return emulate gaming aesthetics. His other interests include pop culture, Japanese animation, history, and interactive storytelling.

Jess Stewart-Lee (JSL) is an MA student at Concordia University, working as a research assistant with the Archive/Counter-Archive Network to study the use of archival footage in autobiographical films by Chinese filmmakers. Her SSHRC-funded thesis project seeks to explore the intersection of identity, temporality, and memory, themes which she often explores in her other work with archives, videomaking, and writing. 

Samuel Thomson (ST) is a PhD student in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. His research focuses on documentary, experimental and artists’ cinema, and queer studies.

Muxin Zhang (MZ) is a PhD student in Film & Moving Image Studies at Concordia University. Her research conjoins popular cosmopolitanism and star studies, focusing on cross-cultural Asian female stardom in early to mid twentieth century.


*Stock illustration used in featured image is created by vectorjuice on Freepik.