Commons Archive

Library patron reading the Golden Gate Library Local Collection

Image: Dianne Jones
Photos honoring African American historians Ruth and Eugene Lasartemay

Image: Dianne Jones

Upcoming Events:

Golden Gate Library After-Hours: 
Celebrating Neighborhood African American History
Thursday, February 13, 2020  
6:00 – 7:30PM
Location: Golden Gate Branch Library
5606 San Pablo Ave
Oakland, CA

Commons Archive, organized by artist and cultural researcher Sue Mark/marksearch in partnership with the local library and community organizations, honors neighbors as creators, narrators and participants of the many histories in this dynamically changing North Oakland neighborhood.

Building on a six-year creative relationship with Kala through Print Public, continuing through 2020, Commons Archive will work with neighbors and community organizations to gather and preserve the area’s sounds, stories and images. Neighbors and passersby will experience the community’s layered stories as choreographed visual and performative narratives unfolding through evening projections on significant buildings, street banners, and celebrations of local music.

The Golden Gate Library Local Collection, a new research series with eight titles

Image: marksearch

Community workshop led by Saturu Ned, original Black Panther Party member

Image: Oakland Public Library

Commons Archive and marksearch’s collaborative residency at Kala and Oakland’s Golden Gate Library has received funding from Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s Open Spaces Award. This program supports nonprofits to partner with artists to create temporary, place-based public art projects that are responsive to issues relevant to communities in San Francisco and Oakland.



Commons Archive Celebrations

Golden Gate Library Centennial, Neighborhood Block Party

To celebrate the library’s first 100 years, Commons Archive teamed up with the community for a homegrown block party October, 2018! Hundreds of neighbors, long-time and new, filled the street, enjoying live music, hands-on activities, and local food.  Take a look at the video below!

Golden Gate Library Centennial Celebration, October, 2018. Video: marksearch.

Golden Gate Library Local Collection

Neighbors writing memories for the Golden Gate Library Local Collection

Image Credit: marksearch + OAK-WAW Designs
Planned nighttime projections and celebration of local music

Image: Studio Majewska

SAVE THE DATE: Commons Archive ‘Golden Gate Library Local Collection’ celebration launch is on Saturday afternoon, September 21, 2019. This new place-based reference series retains archival community resources within the neighborhood branch library. The ‘Golden Gate Library Local Collection’ presents materials that were, up until now, stored in basements, locked file cabinets and forgotten boxes.


Commons Archive has been generously supported by:

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities: Humanities for All, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy and supporting research to cure chronic disease. Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of all its programs. Its vision is guided by the belief that change is possible through inquiry, creativity and compassion. (ASK MAYUMI)

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