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Kim Christen

Professor, Digital Technology and Culture

Campus — Pullman
Email —
Twitter — @ProfChristen
Personal Website —


Kim is a Professor in the Department of Digital Technology and Culture and was the founding director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University. Her research explores the intersections of cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, information ethics, and the use of digital technologies in and by Indigenous communities globally. She is the founder of Mukurtu CMS an open-source community access platform designed with Indigenous communities globally to meet their unique information, curatorial and data needs. Kim’s teaching focuses on the practices and processes surrounding digital ethics, digital humanities and archival processes all while stressing critical thinking and creation.

Selected Projects

Mukurtu CMS
A free and open source content management system and community digital archive platform developed with indigenous communities to provide sustainable and ethical ways to manage and share cultural heritage. Mukurtu is managed at Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (

Local Contexts
A social and educational initiative that provides information on Traditional Knowledge Labels and intellectual property generally to and for Indigenous and local communities and cultural institutions. (

Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal
Collaboratively curated and managed educational, interactive, online digital archive providing access to Plateau peoples’ cultural materials at Washington State University through tribal curation, in collaboration with Native Programs, Washington State University. (

Tribal Digital Stewardship Cohort Program
This program provides educational opportunities for tribal librarians, archivists, and museum professionals in the lifecycle of digital stewardship. (

Selected Publications

Christen, K., 2021 “Designing archival information systems through partnerships with Indigenous Australian communities: Developing the Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes Model in Australia”. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 25.

Christen, K., 2019 ““The songline is alive in Mukurtu: Return, reuse, and respect.” in LD&C Special Publication No. 18: Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond, edited by Linda Barwick, Jennifer Green & Petronella Vaarzon-Morel. Sydney University Press, pp. 153–172.

Christen, K., 2019 “Towards Slow Archives.” Co-authored with Jane Anderson. Journal of Archival Science, vol 19: 87-116.

Christen, K., 2019 “Decolonizing Attribution: Traditions of Exclusion.” Co-authored with Jane Anderson. Journal of Radical Librarianship, vol 5.

Christen, K., 2018 “Relationships, Not Records: Digital Heritage and the Ethics of Sharing Indigenous Knowledge Online,” in Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, edited by Jentery Sayers, pp. 403-412.

Christen, K. 2017 “A Community of Relations: Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes.” co-authored with Alex Merrill and Michael Wynne, D-Lib Magazine, vol (23), number 5/6,

Christen, K. 2015, “Tribal Archives, Traditional Knowledge and Local Contexts: Why the “s” Matters,” Journal of Western Archive. Vol. 6 (1): Article 3.

Christen, K. 2012. “Does Information Really Want to Be Free?: Indigenous Knowledge and the Politics of Open Access,” The International Journal of Communication, Vol 6: 2870-2893

Christen, K. 2011. “Opening Archives: Respectful Repatriation,” American Archivist Vol. 74 (1): 185–210.

Awards & Honors

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award, Office of the Provost, Washington State University, 2020

Creative Activity, Research and Scholarship Award, Office of Research, Washington State University 2018.

Society of American Archivists’ Council Exemplary Service Award. The Sustainable Heritage Network, 2017

National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Digital Library Federation Innovation Award: Outstanding Project, Tribal Stewardship Cohort Program, 2016

College of Arts and Sciences Mid-Career Achievement Award, Washington State University, 2016

Guardians of Culture, Memory, and Lifeways Outstanding Project Award, from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums for the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal 2012