About The Program
My Town, My Story (MTMS) is a joint program of the CTDA and Connecticut Humanities that gives Connecticut’s people the power to create and document the history of their lived experiences on their own terms, where it can be shared with the individual stories of hundreds of others. MTMS is a growing collection of digital community archives designed to preserve, share, and amplify the diverse stories of historically underdocumented people. Every feature is built with the goals of sustainability, racial consciousness, and cultural competency in mind. We developed MTMS to give agency to everyday people over documenting, sharing, and engaging with their immediate and collective histories.
Participants who are 18+ contribute digital images, videos, documents, and audio recordings along with any descriptions they wish to share with the community and the general public. They retain ownership and copyright over their content unless they decide to donate their material to their local library. Submissions are reviewed to build trust and ensure a safe digital environment while preventing the publication of hate speech or spam.
MTMS customizes each interface for its respective community. To encourage authenticity, users can submit descriptions of their material in any one of Connecticut’s most spoken languages (English, Albanian, Arabic, French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese). Meaning, they decide what to contribute and how it is presented to the larger world. Submitted content will be published in its original language alongside an English translation (if necessary), to expand engagement, while diversifying the archive.
Individuals who create digital records of their daily lives can provide a look into the material culture, built environment, fashion trends, and social groups of the contributor and their times in ways that highly curated collections may not always do. By giving diverse community members the power to preserve and share their histories online, we can begin to fill the large gap within Connecticut's history, representing the stories and lived experiences of underrepresented communities. Through their contributions, individuals practice agency over documenting the parts of their history they deem valuable, and in turn, impact the ways that current organizations acquire, preserve, and engage with immediate and collective histories.