2009 Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI)
University of California, Los Angeles
July 6-11, 2009
University of California, Los Angeles
July 6-11, 2009
At the same time, I am also exploring a variety of ways to use the virtual lab infrastructure for pure research projects on electronic recordkeeping in complex organizational environments. For instance, I am considering ways virtualization might be used to model recordkeeping practices that involve multiple or overlapping systems, with the aim of designing experiments to show how different technologies can influence the meaning and context of particular aggregations of records. In particular, I am interested in studying the use of e-discovery software applications designed for the legal community, in an effort to show how the search capabilities offered by this class of application can affect our understanding of the provenance of records, and, in turn, how the process of appraisal might be influenced by the emerging problem of e-discovery faced by many organizations today.
Given that the virtual lab project will still be in the planning stages in summer 2009, my talk will be geared toward refining the research questions I will be asking as we begin to develop student exercises as well as research projects on electronic records. Thus, I am hoping that the workshop will provide a rich source of feedback on the work we are doing at SIRLS and also to help me identify potential collaborators in the archives field.
Jennifer Bunn, Graduate Student – DIGITAL RECORDS
In recent years archival description has been transformed almost beyond recognition. Online catalogues have replaced paper lists. These resources and, albeit to a lesser degree, the records they describe, can now be accessed across the world at the click of a mouse. The catalyst for this change is clearly rooted in the dawning of the digital age and the exciting possibilities that it brings. The breakneck pace of this evolution has, however, taken its toll. The archive profession is now in the paradoxical situation of being simultaneously both more and less sure about what archival description is than ever before.
More sure, because the standardisation efforts of the last twenty years mean we now have internationally agreed rules which lay down the information archival description should contain and how that information should be broken down into individual data elements. This view has archival description as just another form of metadata, broken down manageable chunks that we can manipulate, map and exchange to our heart’s content so long as we get the technology right.
Less sure, because recent postmodern debate has meant we can no longer view archival description as a static and objective carrier of fact, external to the records it describes. Rather it is a subjective, evolving creation that is itself implicated in the creation of the ‘record’, whatever that is. Then again, the shift to electronic records means that we can no longer get our hands on, let alone a handle on the stuff with which we deal.
This presentation will describe my attempts to resolve this paradox. It will outline the challenges I have faced in implementing my chosen method, grounded theory development, and outline progress to date. Initial ideas emerging from early data collection at The National Archives in London will be discussed.
Kate Colligan, Faculty/Student – MEDICAL
Data potentially relevant to epidemiological study are likely mired in a backlog of text based documentation not easily translated into useable statistical data. This may be especially true in parts of the world most urgently in need of intervention through epidemiologic study. While epidemiologists may be interested in the spread of disease within target populations, archivists are interested in documenting and preserving the context for data collection. If patterns of outbreaks are to be identified and studied capturing essential information accurately is crucial; similarly, the original record keeping system (i.e. textual data) must remain intact and preserved over time in order to further substantiate results. Building digital data sets from this information would essentially become its own archive which could be exploited for research use in myriad ways while protecting the context in which the data was collected and extracted. This paper will outline some of the challenges in the preservation and providing public access to infectious disease data from Southeast Asia and will include some discussion on cultural perspectives that help or hinder access.
Amber Cushing, Graduate Student – NEW MEDIA/PERSONAL
Taking Personal Digital Archiving to Task:
Digital Stewardship, Value Judgments and Task Theory
When individuals attempt to manage their personal digital archive, challenges arise. Catherine Marshall has written extensively on the subject of personal digital archiving; the writing is often linked with personal information management (PIM). How individuals will manage digital collections over a lifetime presents a series of challenges that must be addressed or such information may not remain within our collective control (Marshall 2008). Marshall et. al. (2006) identifies 7 attributes, challenges and/or tasks associated with personal digital archiving: digital stewardship/curatorial effort, distributed storage, long term access, value and
accumulation, digital context, format opacity and security and privacy. Digital stewardship and value and accumulation are two of the areas identified by Marshall that appear to be especially urgent. Digital stewardship refers to an individual’s curation of his or her own collection and value and accumulation refers to an individual’s ability to assign value to his or her information items so decisions about what to keep and what to discard can be made. According to Marshall (2008), individuals are not willing to invest the necessary time to care for their digital belongings, instead choosing to believe they will always be available or choosing to view data loss as inevitable. In addition, individuals also prefer to delay making decisions about what to keep and are aided by the availability of cheap storage, but then have problems locating items amidst the mounting digital clutter.
What thought process occurs when individuals engage in digital stewardship and make value decisions? Applying task theory to the issues of digital stewardship and value within the realm of personal digital archiving may provide some answers. The
concept of task has many different applications, depending on one’s interpretation. In interactive information retrieval and information seeking studies, task is often used in experiments to discover how task can be replicated and used to evaluate systems. Task theory has also been utilized in PIM, specifically in studies related to email (Belotti et al. 2003).
In addition to being of use to individuals trying to make sense of the items that represent their digital lives, this issue is relevant for archivists who subscribe to the idea of the records continuum, and believe in the archivists’ early intervention in the
recordkeeping model. Early intervention dictates that archivists should engage with donors early, offering the donor advice about recordkeeping. Understanding more about the thought process of the individual may inform archivists as they attempt to offer pre-
custodial recordkeeping advice.
I plan to discuss how task theory can be applied to Marshall’s digital stewardship and value and accumulation problems and the methodology I propose to further investigate this theory application.
Morgan Daniels, Graduate Student – UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES
This paper is an analysis of survey data from students at two universities who attended archival orientations and, in most cases, used the archives to complete course assignments. The survey was developed and implemented as part of the Archival Metrics
project, a multi-year research project with the goal of fostering a culture of evaluation in archives, including a greater emphasis on measures of user satisfaction and the outcomes and impact of archival service. Specifically, the Archival Metrics project developed and tested a number of standardized tools for college and university archives to collect and analyze user feedback. The data reported in this paper were collected in order to test the student survey developed by the project team and receive feedback from archivists about their experiences implementing the surveys. However, the data have revealed a number of interesting aspects of the student research experience in the archives, which are reported in this paper. The survey, implemented at the end of the Fall 2007 semester, captures student opinions about the usefulness of their orientation, the research they conducted in the archives, and their willingness to return to the archives for future use. This paper addresses the factors that were correlated with student feelings of success in the archives, taking into account aspects of the student experience including year and
field of study, degree of satisfaction with the orientation, and amount of experience with archival research before and after the orientation took place. While in many cases the archival orientations took place at the beginning of the semester, the student surveys were administered at the semester’s end, so that students could reflect on their orientation and research in the context of their entire course experience. The sixteen-question survey instrument was completed during normal class sessions by 452 of the 527 students offered the survey, for an 86 percent response rate. The paper examines the data collected by this survey and offers insight for archivists and professors who would like to improve student experiences with conducting archival research.
Rebecca Dean, Graduate Student – COLONIAL/GENDER
“ARCHIVING RESISTANCE: FEMINISMS AND POSTCOLONIALITY”
This paper articulates the value of postcolonial theory in information studies archival research that engages diasporic communities in the United States. Postcolonial studies offers a close analysis of power that can be utilized by information scholars who seek to
understand how power is manifested and reproduced in information paradigms such as those in archival practice. In light of these aims the paper examines the specific project of archiving Filipina American women's social movements, which is one example of diasporic, transnational, postcolonial, third world, and feminist political resistance.
Postcolonial theory aids in the necessary reflexive examination of the scholar or archivist's relationship to the community and materials she collects, describes, and makes accessible about diasporic communities. Finally this paper forms recommendations for meaningful intellectual engagement with the existing project of Third World feminist and subaltern cultural studies to recover neglected cultural texts and forms of political resistance through an archival practice informed by feminist and postcolonial theory.
Jean Dryden, Faculty – NEW MEDIA/COPYRIGHT
Copyright in the Real World: Making Archival Material Available on the Internet
Copyright law is often said to be a balance between obtaining a just reward for the creator, and promoting the public interest by encouraging the creation and dissemination of works. Serving the public interest is also at the heart of the mandate of archival
repositories to acquire, preserve and make available material of enduring value. The Internet provides an opportunity to make archival material more widely available; however, repositories’ copyright practices in making their holdings available online may
affect the extent to which wider access to archival material is actually achieved. The presentation discusses an exploratory study that investigated the impact of copyright law on the practices of Canadian repositories in making their archival holdings available on the Internet to see whether their copyright practices are more or less restrictive than copyright law requires. Based on repositories’ website content, questionnaire responses, and interviews with repository staff members, the study found that repositories’ practices in making their holdings available online were, overall, more restrictive than copyright law envisages, both in terms of selection for online access and in terms of attempts to control further uses of their online holdings.
As yet, we know little about how cultural heritage institutions (and those who use their holdings) operate within the constraints of copyright, particularly in the digital environment. This study opens a number of avenues for further investigation of the role
of copyright in public information policy, particularly as it relates to archival material, including comparative studies of the copyright practices of different types of repositories and within different copyright regimes, the copyright aspects of the ongoing preservation
of digital objects, and how users of archival holdings respond to the copyright information provided by archival repositories.
Lori Eakin, Graduate Student – NEW MEDIA/ENVIRONMENT
A Community Ecology Approach to Preservation Organizations: The Development of New Forms
Since the mid-1990s, the archives and preservation field has faced a series of environmental shocks as a result of the “digital revolution.” Technical, social, legal, and economic factors have placed incredible stresses on the field, leading to a number of attempts to create organizational structures that can handle all of the new requirements without losing focus on the archival goals of long-term information authenticity and integrity. A series of new organizational forms and sub-forms has arisen, from digital libraries and digital archives, to institutional repositories, web archiving organizations like the Internet Archive, and personal information archiving organizations like Wuala.
A key question that arises from all of this is, “How sustainable are these new forms?” Learning the answer to this question is critical for the profession, especially given the current economic environment.
My project attempts to answer a piece of this question by examining the recent development and evolution of digital forms of archiving within the framework of community ecology theory. Community ecology theory suggests that new forms of organization will develop as a result of community demands for particular organizational attributes until the “carrying capacity” of the organizational niche has been met (Aldrich and Ruef, 2006). The carrying capacity is the maximum number of organizations that a particular environmental niche can support. For example, by combining the results of discourse analysis with empirical events such as the formation and dissolution of organizations, Princeton Sociologist Martin Ruef used this theory to show how the professional discourse of the healthcare community coevolved with the development of new forms of healthcare provision over time (2000).
Using this methodology I will utilize discourse analysis to examine the evolution of the key issues, values, and trends within the archives and preservation field from 1985-2000.
As did Ruef, I make use of latent semantic analysis to structure the discourse of English-speaking archives and preservation professionals from 1985-2008. Utilizing a corpus of professional literature, I will decompose the text within this corpus into its primary concepts. I will then map these concepts historically to the development of archival organizational forms to see how the discourse and the organizational structures have coevolved over the chosen time frame.
The information generated via this phase of the project will be available to answer more theoretically based questions in the next phase. The results, for instance, can be compared to the primary organizational forms in the field to link patterns of organizational change over time to the verbally expressed demand for particular organizational types. With additional data on the formation and dissolution of organizations within each form, one can statistically estimate whether these forms have reached their carrying capacity and offer predictions about their likely survivability and potential future evolution (Ruef, 1999; 2006). In addition, one could associate the discourse and citations within the same corpus with economic events over that time frame to compare the impact of institutional factors and key researchers with the impact of economic events in the changing landscape of digital preservation
Joanne Evans, Faculty -- ELECTRONIC RECORDS
Healthy hothouses – addressing challenges and creating opportunities for recordkeeping research
One of the key findings, from the Clever Recordkeeping Metadata Project was to see the extent to which paper models dominate recordkeeping practices and inhibit opportunities for automated recordkeeping metadata capture and re-use. At the same time, the project also identified the potential in emerging service oriented architectures to progress the idea of being able to integrate recordkeeping processes into digital business process that allow the capture of recordkeeping metadata in more sustainable and scalable ways. However, being able to take advantage of this potential requires further investigations into what recordkeeping may look like as a suite of services, along with what recordkeeping requirements may be entailed in these architectures. A part of this is to also identify, conceptualize and realize new recordkeeping infrastructure for these new environments. Addressing these issues requires a complex mix of research and practical activities, that can take emergent ideas, explore their promise, shepherd their development and foster their realization and deployment in disciplined systems. This suggests the need for researchers and practitioners to be able to come together in ‘healthy hothouses’ capable to nurture recordkeeping innovation.
One such area where there could be an opportunity to employ such an approach is in the area of eResearch. In this space research data management is a hot topic. Many are grappling with what is required for the creation, capture, management and ongoing use of large quantities of digitally recorded and networked information objects generated in and/or of relevance to research processes to allow for the collaboration across time and space that is a fundamental method of scholarly practice (Courant 2006). Archives have of course played an important role in such research infrastructure in the paper world. Hence there is an opportunity to bring this expertise and experience to the eResearch space, and explore how practices, tools and systems must be re-imagined and re-figured in order to meet challenges of research data and other records creation, management and use for digital and networked environments.
This presentation will explore research data management from a recordkeeping perspective and identify opportunities specific to the eResearch space as well as for recordkeeping in general that could be explored and developed through practical and research partnerships in academic settings.
Shannon Faulkhead, Graduate Student – ETHNIC
Koorie Archiving: Community and Records Working Together
Where an archive can be a collection of paper-based or electronic records preserved together for the use of future generations, it can also be a collection of records held together through their storage within, and use by, the community to which they belong. This second description of an archive can include all record forms including oral memory transmitted by stories shared within families or communities; the land; archaeological evidence; paper records, audio-recorded histories, multi-media web pages, and digital archives; community, government and other organisational records; and, photographs, and visual and performance art – all being potentially valuable sources of community knowledge. Whilst this type of archive recognises cultural differences in preserving records for future generations, how does it function? What are the frameworks, processes and protocols, and relationship/s between this form of a community archive and other collections such as those formed by government and other organisations? Is there an awareness within the community that an archive exists? This is what my Indigenous Research Fellowship is planning on finding out.
This research project will be working in partnership with the Gunditjmara community of the Lake Condah region of western Victoria to map their archive and the relationships between it and other archives over a two-year period. From this it is planned to develop an in-depth and rich understanding of all archival sources, forms and media relevant to a Koorie community, including their current use and the desired interaction of the community with their archive. The findings of the Project will assist future community management of their archive and support the development of archival frameworks, protocols and processes of Koorie archiving. This research will also benefit the archival community in developing a cultural perspective of Koorie archiving needs that will aid in the development of archival science principles and practices that are more culturally appropriate to the diverse communities that they address.
Whilst this project will not be commencing until July 2009, this paper will be presenting the wheres and what fors that led to the development of this project including the ARC Linkage Project Trust and Technology: Building an archival system for Indigenous oral memory (T&T) project and my thesis research Narratives of Koorie Victoria. These projects not only provided the catalyst for this research, but also the research methodology that many of us involved in the T&T Project viewed as being necessary for successful research in this area. This paper will be part one of hopefully a series of papers over the period of this Institute looking at the development of the project and its outcomes as they occur.
Kathleen Fear, Graduate Student – METADATA
Online searching has become integral to accessing library materials, both in online catalogs of books or other items and more significantly, within collections of digitized objects. Much work has been done in text searching, and improvements in OCR and other technologies have made it possible to provide full-text access to many digital collections of textual documents. Image searching, however, can be a challenge. The technology for searching the contents of images remains extremely limited; image collections are reliant on textual metadata to provide access via searching. The lack of extensive metadata or catalog records that could be harvested at the time of digitization adds another level of difficulty to enabling user access to image collections.
In broad terms, the goal of this study is to explore how much metadata users need to successfully search for and obtain images from a large collection of digitized images. This is, however, not a question that can be settled in one experiment. In this study, the focus is on Dublin Core metadata specifically: is the DC metadata provided in a digital image library setting useful? In other words, the metadata that is provided should enable users to make a decision about whether an image is relevant to their search task without overwhelming them.
In more detailed terms, this study aims to explore if there are elements that users don’t find useful (either because they do not need the information or because the labels are confusing); if users feel useful information is missing; and if the labels and elements that are provided are arranged in a way that makes sense to users.
Additionally, the study will look at how user demographics interplay with search results: do non-expert users have as much success in searching as do librarians, teachers and archivists? Do users interpret metadata labels the same way as expert searchers, and do they look for the same kind of information when making a decision about viewing an item record or using an image? There has been a dearth of exploration of just what is appropriate and meaningful for undergraduates or other non-expert searchers. As indicated in the literature review, most research centers on librarians and information experts or domain experts, two group which are generally assumed to be better at finding information than non-experts.
Jan Fernhout, Graduate Student – HISTORY/SCIENCE
„Archivists as scientists? An analysis of archival work in the 17th and 18th century and its significance for archival science and scientific thinking in the period.”
An analysis of five filing systems in two archives from the 17th and 18th century to see how far they represent archival theory and scientific thinking in the period.
In two archives in Germany 17th and 18th century filing systems for current records could be reconstructed. This is quite unique, because later archivists, especially in the 19th century, very often disturbed the original order. This makes opportunities to analyze such systems rare. The five arrangements found offer therefore an unique occasion to study the practice of files administration. While many theories about the management of current records in the Ancien Régime have been proclaimed, it was seldom possible to ascertain whether they were put in practice. This is therefore the goal of this research project. Archival theory however can never be seen as isolated, it is the product of scientific thinking in a particular time. Analyses of filing systems can therefore never limit themselves to studying archival theory, they should include scientific concepts of the period too.
The two archives and their filing systems
One of the archives in Germany which contains traces of early modern files administration, originates from William II of Orange (1626-1650), who was also stadtholder of Holland. The stadt¬holdership was a relic of the times when the Dutch were ruled by a king. It included some royal privileges, like commanding the army. Half of William‘s archive landed in the Landes¬haupt¬staats¬archiv Sachsen-Anhalt at Dessau. The other archive studied here is the Oranian Archive (or Oranisches Archiv) in the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz at Berlin.
The archive of William II, stadtholder of Holland, was divided because half of it was inherited to his longest living sister in Dessau. This parts covers 1 meter, the other meter is in the archive of the Dutch royal family in The Hague. In William’s archive two filing systems can be found, they date from around 1650.
The Oranian Archive originates from the conflict of king Frederic I of Prussia (1657-1713) with the stadtholder of Friesland over the inheritance of King William III of England (1650-1702). The conflict was settled by a treaty in 1732. The resulting archive covers 67 meters. Three filing plans can be found in it, two from the beginning of the 18th century and one from about 1760.
Questions to be asked
1 Which filing systems can be found in the archive of stadtholder William II?
2 Which filing systems were used by the archivists of the Oranian Archive?
3 Are traces of 17th and 18th century archival theory to be found in the filing systems?
4 Are elements of early modern scientific thinking traceable in the filing systems?
The conclusion of this project will clarify whether scientific ideas of the Ancien Régime were represented in publications about archival science and whether archivists of the period used these publications.
Anne Gilliland, Faculty – METADATA
Reflections on Metadata in a Global, Digital World
A large part of archival practice through the ages has been concerned, for very sound societal and pragmatic reasons, with describing the holdings of archives and documenting the actions and activities performed upon or associated with those holdings. Using contemporary terminology, we could place all of these descriptive and documentary activities under the broad, although these days all-too-vague heading of “metadata.” We have archaeological evidence that such metadata was created and maintained within some of the earliest and most prototypical textual archives in Asia Minor and elsewhere. Historical metadata practices, however, while they might exhibit characteristics that would seem familiar to archivists today, have been far from monolithic. European medieval chanceries and later renaissance and reformation archives provide ample examples of various systems of arrangement and description that were proposed, implemented, revised, abandoned or maintained. The publication of Muller, Feith and Fruin’s Manual on the Arrangement and Description of Archives in 1898 in Groningen, which delineated European practices of arrangement and description, together with its presentation at the 1910 International Congress of Libraries and Archives in Brussels, and subsequent translations around the world are often pointed to as the seminal events that resulted in the de facto codification of ideas about archival descriptive practices. This codification eventually led to worldwide acceptance following the 1993 approval of the ISAD(G), General International Standard Archival Description by the International Council on Archives Ad Hoc Commission on Descriptive Standards in Stockholm.
Today the ability at least to contemplate widespread exchange of archival information based upon a common set of metadata structures and conceptualizations is generally considered to be an enormous advance upon the long-extant status quo of standalone, idiosyncratic archival repositories operating in distinct national and organizational contexts. Nevertheless, the status of archival metadata is something that deserves further critical analysis and reflection. There remain wide variations in archival metadata practices around the globe as different archival traditions in different cultural and bureaucratic communities strive to maintain local and Indigenous practices or seek to create new national or sector-relevant standards, yet still interface with global but arguably Eurocentric standards. Moreover, the creation of volumes of digital records so vast and complex that no archives can realistically contemplate manual metadata creation, coupled with the potential of Web 2.0 for spreading the burden of metadata creation beyond the archive and archivists together raise abundant new questions about the provenance, nature and role of metadata, as well as that of the archivist as the sole author of that metadata.
This paper will consider the intellectual lineage of ideas about metadata and the motivations and perspectives underlying them. It will then reflect upon the implications of those ideas for contemporary concerns of global information exchange, sovereignty, democratization, pluralization, accessibility and scalability.
Karen Gracy, Faculty – MOVING IMAGE/NEW MEDIA
De Facto Archiving: The Use of Social Networking Sites for Moving Image Collection Building and Preservation
This paper will examine the social construction of moving image collections in YouTube, Google Video, and the Internet Archive, focusing particularly on these collections’ potential to usurp some of the functions of the cultural institutions such as libraries and archives. By foregrounding the participants’ contributions to creation, description, and contextualization of the collection, these sites serve as de facto archives for discourse about political, social, and cultural events. Their construction by community members, including the construction of networks of relationships among documents, is comparable to the activities of libraries and archives, particularly in participants’ acts of acquisition, collection development, description, and contextualization. What was formerly primarily the purview of the library or archive has now been appropriated by creators and users of these materials. This paper will look closely at these acts of creation, linking, and appropriation of materials and collections in YouTube and other similar videosharing sites. Particular attention will be given to the role of social tagging and commenting, comparing it to the discourse of curatorial commentary, and exploring what effects the videosharing sites have had on processes and practices in established cultural institutions for designing sites to access digitized collections. Questions to be explored include:
• In the wake of social networking sites such as YouTube, are libraries, archives, and museums creating more space for organic community and collection building?
• What sorts of resources are available to users for creating “curatorial commentary” about collections, through social tagging, blogs, and the like?
• How have cultural institutions integrated user input into decisionmaking in the areas of acquisition, appraisal, preservation, description, and access?
Francesca Guerra, Faculty – HUMAN RIGHTS
Managing Human Rights Knowledge and the Politics of Archiving Global Conflicts
In the past sixty years (since the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, United Nations, December 10, 1948), the politics of archiving global conflicts and human suffering have influenced the profession of librarianship since managing human rights knowledge has complicated the “key parts of the library’s mission that have stayed the same: gathering and selecting information, storing and organizing information, providing access to information, and preserving information” (Stover, 2008). It is now recognized that the increased focus on human rights is “an arena in which the traditional forces and values of librarianship can establish connections, dialogue, and advocacy in the 21st century” (Chaparro-Univazo, 2007, p. 4). This view is well supported by the unprecedented growth of human rights and social justice nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international amendments and manifestos (i.e., IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, 1994), professional archivist and library associations and working groups (i.e., International Council on Archives [ICA] Working Group on Archives and Human Rights, est. 2003; Progressive Librarians Guild, est. 1990; Archivists without Borders [AsF], est. 1999; Libraries for Human Rights, est. 2005), related web sites, and blogs, and university institutes (Center for Human Rights, Columbia University, est. 1978; Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, University of Washington, est. 1999) that focus on managing “human rights knowledge” (Chaparro-Univazo, 2007). Besides the long tradition of advocacy (Samek 2006, cited in Chaparro-Univazo, 2007, p. 2), professional archivists/librarians are becoming international activists (Samek 2006, cited in Chaparro-Univazo, 2007, p. 2; see also Montgomery 1996) working together to understand the dilemmas and politics involved in their role as “memory managers” (Civallero, 2007, p. 11). Despite these sincere efforts to develop a new disciplinary purpose, more discussion is still needed on how the work of preserving the “pain of others” (borrowed from Sontag 2003) is related to the commodification of global suffering (Kleinman & Kleinman, 1996) and for these reasons the profession of librarianship needs to become more interdisciplinary.
Laura Helton, Graduate Student – HISTORY/ETHNIC
In the early twentieth century, at a moment when research libraries and state archives spread across the country, a small group of collectors, book dealers, librarians, and anthologists began to create an alternative archive, one that documented the lives of African Americans who were often absent from or hidden within official repositories. Their work, which entailed collecting overlooked documents and buying books undervalued in the rare book market, eventually resulted in the founding of the nation’s most important research collections on African American history. No single motivation animated their work, however. Collectors interested in Afro-Americana ranged from the white Mississippi cotton planter and ardent segregationist Alfred Stone to the Afro-Puerto Rican bibliophile Arthur Schomburg, who assembled a vast library that became a landmark of the New Negro and Harlem Renaissance movements.
Prompted by this complicated history of race in the archive, my research contemplates the relationship between collections, historical memory, and social movements. Prompted by Harlem Renaissance writer Claude McKay’s 1937 call to form a black writers’ group as a “living counterpart” to Arthur Schomburg’s archive of the African diaspora, I am specifically interested in historically situating the relationship between textual collections and social collections in this period.
Part of a larger study, this paper will concentrate on the work of black collectors/activists in the 1920s, such as Schomburg and Hubert Harrison, in order to think about how archives helped to shape race consciousness in the early twentieth century. By examining collectors’ artifacts—correspondence, lists, prefaces, bibliographies, catalogs, and advertisements—it traces the collaborations and disagreements that contextualize the place of archive-building projects in broader social and intellectual trends. Their work speaks to the intertwined nature of African American print culture and political mobilization between 1916 and 1945, a period in which race emerged as an object of intensive documentary engagement in government, literary, ethnographic, and historical projects. In considering the divergent motivations that led black and white collectors to accumulate Afro-Americana and the blurred categories of American nationality and black nationalism marking the era’s diverse collections, this paper argues for the need to better understand the knowledge production practices that made the archive a site of contestation.
Richard Hollinger, Graduate Student – ELECTRONIC RECORDS
My presentation will examine several factors that affect the use and retention of electronic documents in the workplace. I will draw on data from questionnaires circulated to individuals in a variety of professional settings as well as surveys of electronic documents kept by individuals in several organizations. The factors to be examined include age, rank within the organization, professional classification, and the type of organization.
Sarah Kim, Graduate Student – PERSONAL/NEW MEDIA
Personal Digital Archives and the Archival Profession
Contemporary individuals are constantly surrounded by evolving digital information technology. Consequently, they accumulate a large amount of personal digital materials overtime in their everyday lives. While individuals develop and practice their own methods to manage their personal digital materials using various on/off-line virtual spaces and tools, the question of how to manage personal digital materials effectively attracts researchers in various fields such as Personal Information Management (PIM) studies, Information Studies, Digital Humanities, and Computer Science.
Considering the evidential, cultural, and social value of personal digital materials, there is an increased need for the long-term archival preservation of personal digital materials. Personal digital materials should be treated as archives and preserved beyond one’s lifetime so future generations of families, communities, and societies can learn about where they come from and who they are.
Personal digital archives is a research theme exploring the long-term digital preservation of personal digital materials. Personal digital archives can be individual, private digital archives managed, operated, and maintained by people in their everyday lives. It requires grass-roots level archiving/preservation activities. It is a research area in which research efforts in various fields such as archival studies and studies of PIM systems can be mixed together and applied in the practice of what might be called “everyday life recordkeeping.” The preservation of cultural memories captured in personal documents both paper and recently digital form is one of the main duties of the archival profession for hundreds of years. Preservation practices, theories, and experiences developed in the archival profession will provide the foundation for the archival preservation of personal digital materials.
In my research presentation, I will discuss the need of the grass-root level archiving/preservation in the digital age and what the archival profession can offer for establishing personal digital archives conceptually and practically.
Lori Lindbergh, Graduate Student – MISSING
Sue McKemmish, Faculty –Ethnic
Indigenous Knowledge and the Archives: Embracing Multiple Ways of Knowing and Keeping
Over the last two decades many Australian archival institutions and professionals have acknowledged the part they can play in the reconciliation process between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Australian Indigenous communities have been consulted about access, Memoranda of Understanding negotiated, indexing projects undertaken, exhibitions and guides to records developed and an awareness of the need for more culturally sensitive description and appraisal practices has grown.
However, these initiatives have generally taken place within a paradigm that positions Indigenous people as subjects of records and clients of archival services. This paper will present recent research which highlights the need for new legal, policy and professional frameworks which re-position Australian Indigenous communities, and potentially other communities, as co-creators of archival records and co-providers of archival services.
Trust and Technology: Building archival systems for Indigenous oral memory (T&T) began in 2004 as a research project based at Monash University in partnership with the Public Record Office Victoria, the Koorie Heritage Trust Inc., the Victorian Koorie Records Taskforce, and the Australian Society of Archivists Indigenous Issues Special Interest Group. The aim of T&T was to develop an understanding of how archives can support Koorie frameworks of knowledge, memory and evidence, particularly knowledge that is still stored within the community orally. However our research has highlighted that archivists cannot appropriately engage with Koorie knowledge unless we allow Koorie knowledge systems and Koorie experience to reshape the foundations on which our work is based. The paper will report on the action agenda developed as one of the outcomes of the research project.
Eun Park, Facutly – NEW MEDIA
Optimizing digital archives in the social contexts
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the adoption of tools and techniques of digital archives and information science in working with social and educational content, and supporting discourse of social issues in international and indigenous contexts through the creation of a digital archive. In doing so, we expand our boundaries of research in archives. Digital technology or digitization has been recently used in many areas of social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, visual arts, education, etc. In particular, adoption of digitization has increased in the areas of HIV and AIDS prevention and critical pedagogy. The following two projects demonstrate how digital archives can be adopted and implemented for the purpose of social science research. Central to this work is the development of a methodological and technological framework through building a digital archive and, beyond methodological issues, using the social and educational context to efficiently address social issues.
Case 1. Giving Life (to Data) to Save Life (in the age of AIDS)
Our International Visual Methodologies for Social Change Project has adopted a photovoice method in which children and youth take photographs or videos of their lives and activities in school and around the community in the rural South Africa. Through photography, children share personal experiences and feelings relating to issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. The photovoice method encourages the engagement of children and youth as active players in addressing critical issues around HIV and AIDS. In this way, the photograph collection has accumulated roughly 3,000 items over the years. A project on Giving Life (to Data) to Save Life (in the age of AIDS) was initiated to design and implement a digitization protocol, including scanning and metadata protocols for building digital archives of photos about HIV and AIDS. Metadata elements were very refined enough to divide subjects into multiple elements as well as user-created narrative. This project also builds a social network between researchers, practitioners, teachers, youth, and children.
Case 2. The McGill Critical Pedagogy Documentation Project
The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy was initiated at McGill University in order to: 1) promote the study of the history and development of critical pedagogy; 2) develop, preserve, and provide access to the important documents and media of Paulo Freire’s collections on the development of critical pedagogy. The McGill Critical Pedagogy Documentation Project (CPDP) was initiated to establish the historical and contemporary vision of critical pedagogy on education. The Project is composed of: 1) the development of digital archives, user studies, and CPDP publications; and 2) the creation of a critical pedagogy virtual network (to support an international critical pedagogy community and user community for discussion). The focus on developing methodological frameworks for scientific enquiry is a burgeoning research activity in social science, drawing on a range of tools, techniques and approaches, such as user studies, qualitative interviews, web development, digital archives, networking, Wikis (to develop a virtual encyclopedia with community-based entries on critical pedagogy projects and events) and blogs.
Liladhar Pendse, Graduate Student – COLONIAL
"Decolonizing" Colonial Periodicals: Preserving or destroying the information past?
The periodical publications of the Colonial era represent a wealth of information for researchers in several disciplines. The information that is contained within such publications sheds light on day to day happenings, including the multitude of information transactions that took place within different colonial enclaves. These periodicals were often considered ephemeral and the decolonization policies within newly independent states has led to further marginalization of these colonial era artifacts. These periodicals are often susceptible to the effects of humidity, high temperatures, and detrimental storage conditions in the archives of these colonial enclaves throughout the developing world. The lack of uniform policy governing preservation of these periodicals has become complicated issue of late. There are several reasons for this lack of agreement on how to digitally preserve these periodicals. These reasons cannot be solely attributed to the limitations of the information infrastructure of these archival
institutions or to the unwillingness of these institutions to implement various digital preservation related guidelines. On one
hand, many of these periodicals do belong in the public domain; on the other, the definition of “public domain” varies across various nation-states. Specifically, the governmental periodical publications of the colonial era in the developing world create a “legal nightmare”. The colonial governments that used to administer these territories through various arrangements are now defunct; however the governments of the mother countries still exist.
The process of incorporating these colonial enclaves in to the independent nation states further complicates the matter. As a policy case study, my paper will analyze the case of French India and the impediments faced by archives and libraries that want to
preserve the colonial era periodicals of French India. I would examine legal aspects of French intellectual property right code and the intellectual property right interpretations and mechanisms within the Republic of India.
Ricardo Punzalan, Graduate Student – COLONIAL/MEMORY
“All Things We Cannot Articulate”: Archives and Commemoration in a Former Leper Colony in the Philippines*
As contribution to the increasing interest in articulating the relationship between archives and memory, I wish to provide an interpretive account of my experiences in organizing the archives of a former segregation colony for people with leprosy in the Philippines. The paper focuses on the establishment of an archive on the island of Culion during the centennial of its founding as a leper colony. Using a range of sources (colonial accounts of the island from existing archival records, personal observations, and interviews), I wish to describe how one Philippine community interpreted the organization of its records and the establishment of archives within the centennial rhetoric of hope and healing and the politics of observance and commemoration. My observations took root during my experiences as archivist and curator of the Culion Leprosy Museum and Archives (CLMA) from April 2005 to May 2006. Through “thick description,”1 I will show how members of the Culion community came to regard a body of colonial medical records as their archives.
My goal is to provide a case that shows how records and the establishment of archives figure at a moment of remembrance and commemoration. I propose to examine what I consider to be the most prominent elements of community remembrance and how
archives assume a particular meaning in the process. My discussion will focus on how the conduct of the larger Philippine national centennial commemoration coincided with Culion’s own centenary and thus became the framework for the remembrance of leprosy, the island and its community. The paper will also identify the key actors in Culion’s centennial by placing these in a “web of interests” of competing and complementary visions and interpretations. I will show how the archives were used to support differing claims about the meaning of the past, and suggest some possibilities as to what allows for competing interpretation and meanings of the Culion archives. In telling the stories.
Steve Ricci, Faculty – MISSING
Robert Riter, Graduate Student – MEMORY
Containing and Disseminating Archival Memory: A Discussion of Historical Editing and the Re-housing of Primary Source Materials
Historical editing, put succinctly, is the practice of gathering, editing and publishing primary source materials. One of the fundamental objectives of this practice is to provide wider access to primary source materials, by reducing the physical and geographic boundaries, which separate related collections of primary source materials from one another, and these materials from users. The editions that result are intended to function as surrogates for the primary source materials. Historical editors have noted that a user of these editions should not need to refer to the original source document. This is a re-housing of archival content.
Archival repositories are structures for supporting the containment and dissemination of archival materials. These structures of containment and access create sites for engagement. These sites allow for the creation of new knowledge through interactions with documentation, which has recorded, and serves as evidence for, a collection of thoughts, actions and ideas. The archival repository is a memory supporting structure. Documentary editions, which too contain these materials, also function as memory supporting structures. However, the supporting mechanisms are distinctly different. While archival repositories, through a system of policies, individuals, practices and systems, support the maintenance of, and access to, archival records, documentary editions support access to archival content.
This archival content is stripped of its archival form. The content, as contained in its original form, is bound by the particulars of its form. While the content can be represented by the surrogate, the particulars cannot be replicated. This surrogate can never be a perfect representation of the original record. Because of this point, it is important to ask how documentary editions represent archival materials and how they function as memory structures.
Donghee Sinn, Faculty – PERSONAL
Personal Records on the Web: Who’s in charge of archiving? Me, Hotmail, or Archivists?
Old methods of communicating, like writing letters and keeping journals, have greatly diminished due to the prolific use of electronic mediums. Instead, web-based emails and blogs are prevalent. Personal documents (letters, journals, or other formal/informal documents) are precious materials for the future use to observe the era in which individuals lived. However, how many people realize that electronic letters and blogs could be vulnerable in the hands of today's service providers, not the creators'?
Ultimately, personal records, in any format, as a rich historical resource has been and continue to be one of important materials that information professionals, not just archivists but also digital librarians and other professionals in memory institutions, need to handle and make available to users. However, little is known about how the general public maintains and preserves their records, especially in the web environment. In this sense, this study intends (1) to examine how the general public uses commercially provided web emails and blogs to keep their personal documents and history, and (2) to determine what roles information professionals need to play in assisting the general public to archive their data so it is not lost to future generations and historians.
To do so, an online survey was created asking questions about the perceptions on archiving emails and blogs of service users, the current status of personal recordkeeping of email and blog contents, and expectations and functionalities of archiving tools that the users find useful or would like to have. From this survey, this study tried to draw the roles of information professionals in leading the general public to be more aware of the importance of their personal records, not only for their own purposes but also as a cultural resource.
More than 350 email and blog users participated in this survey. Survey results were interesting and insightful as the participants were well aware of the risk of losing their contents in emails and blogs and of the fact that most email and blog service providers do not provide any method to backing up contents. Some even understood that their personal records will become a part of cultural heritage in the future and acknowledge its importance. However, there were not many participants actively sought a tool to preserve them.
Frank Upward, Graduate Student – THEORY/COMMUNITIES
Community research and the flicker of the continuum
So that, at each moment, everything tends to be spread out into an instantaneous, indefinitely divisible continuum, which will not prolong itself into the next instant, but will pass away, only to be reborn in the following instant in a flicker or shiver that constantly begins again.
~Deleuze G., (translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberiam), (1988) Bergsonism, Zone books, New York, p.87
Many archivists want to manage the flicker and understand intuitively the Bergsonist notion that all is archive + the moment if the global spread of my own records continuum model of it is any guide. Research into it using archival methodologies is wide open, yet archivists, who should be knowledgeable in its management, tend to comb other disciplines looking for ideas (i.e. conceptual research) but is a clear archival voice possible within the continuum approach that should also be explored methodologically? That involves a shift in thinking for many archivists. Conceptually, the continuum is infinite, and indefinitely divisible. It almost goes without saying that our technologies in today’s spaces and times favor those who dream of the infinite, But archivists, in their institutional habitat (when I last knew of them), were mostly managers of the finite, often imagining themselves as serving a limited community in time and place, and looking after only a speck of the archives that are operating within the flicker. The view across disciplines is important, but are we afraid of the inbuilt complexity a continuum styled archival voice should bring to things?
I am interested in providing tools that introduce some manageable dimensional perspectives into the infinite and expanding complexity of recorded information that archivists have to deal with. So far my research has identified eleven dimensions. These will be outlined briefly, along with a strategy for managing the flicker. There will also be an emphasis upon communities across time and space and their ongoing relationship with archives characteristic of records continuum theory, and a look at archival science as a meta-discipline (as some of us argued in the 1990’s) if your goals include life-force and species survival.
Non-discursively, however, how strong are the archival methods in support of managing the flicker including in one of its indefinite divisions, a research project? My own research into continuum concepts and the formation of archives has only raised questions and provides some frameworks for answering them. It has avoided taking any empirical route such as the investigation of what archivists are actually doing. Empiricism is usually pernicious, a conceptualisor will argue. It will only show us our own confusions and lead us further into confusion. Once the conceptual research has been done, then empirical studies can follow?
Kelvin White, Faculty – ETHNIC
Contemporary ideas of race in Mexico are dominated by the concept of mestizaje (racial and cultural mixture). As the dominant paradigm, mestizaje has allowed for a somewhat unified idea of what it means to be “Mexican”. Although Mexican anthropologist, Gonzalo Beltrán estimated that enslaved Africans (or remnants thereof) was one of the largest population groups of Mexican society by the mid-Eighteenth Century, little or no reference is included in its grand narrative. After gaining independence from Spain, Mexico engineered a new national identity—one that considered itself to be mestizo (racially and culturally mixed). Mestizaje ideology permitted a sympathetic investigation of and linkage to the new nation’s Indigenous past. In doing so, other minority groups, such as Mexicans of African descent, were silenced and “erased” from the official historical and contemporary narratives of Mexican nationhood and national identity. Despite strong historical evidence that indicates a large African population in colonial Mexico, the archetypical “Mexican” is even today represented to be mestizo—the product of an unproblematic cultural and racial “mixture” of Spanish and Indigenous people with no acknowledgment of the nation’s African heritage. This situation is reinforced by official record-keeping, which provides no way for Mexicans of African descent to identify themselves as such, even though their communities continue to experience racial discrimination and marginalization.
This representation will summarize the findings of a study conducted in 2008 that sought 1) to provide insight on how communities of African heritage became absent from Mexico’s official record; 2) to describe Mexico’s archival education infrastructure and identify the role that education of archival professionals might play in addressing or contributing to these absences; 3) using the case of Mexicans of African descent in the Costa Chica (home of the largest Mexican community of African descent), to delineate ways of remembering in non-Indigenous ethnic communities; and 4) to generate recommendations for how under-documentation and the resulting absences of these kinds of communities from the archival record might be partly remediated by changing how archivists are educated.
Mirna Willer, Faculty – METADATA/CURRICULUM
Teaching Metadata and Interoperability at the Department of Library and Information
Sciences, University of Zadar, Croatia
The purpose of this presentation is to describe the curriculum related to subjects of metadata and interoperability taught at the Department of Library and Information Sciences, University of Zadar, Croatia with the aim of inviting comments and suggestions from the archival community.
The focus of the course Metadata and Identifiers taught at the undergraduate level (3rd year) is (digital) information object and its life cycle described by the appropriate metadata in the context of the archives, libraries, museum, publishing and rights management communities. The course is based on the ideas of a series of seminars entitled Archives, Libraries, Museums: Possibilities for Cooperation in the Environment of the Global Information Infrastructure, the goal of which is to research the theoretical framework, information infrastructure and technical standards in the fields of creation, dissemination, accession, processing, preservation and making access to information objects regardless of their provenance and implied custodial community. It requires passed courses in information organization (basics of theory of cataloguing, principles and
objectives of the catalogue, and bibliographic and authority data standards applied to printed material; basics of standards for description of electronic/web resources), basics of information technologies, and in website design (HTML and basic descriptive metadata).
The course builds on the concept of information and its embodiments (particularly web resources), as well as the conceptual models for bibliographic and authority data (FRBR and FRAD, the latter one being influenced significantly by archival and museum communities) with the aim of introducing students to abstract notions that could be shared by diverse communities. At more practical, and appropriate to the undergraduate study level (what do we organize/name and how do we do it), the concept of interoperability with examples is being taught: interoperability at the levels of systems (search/retrieve: Z39.50, SRU, OAI-PMH), syntax (transport/exchange: ISO 2709 and XML), semantics (mapping/conversion: DC, MARCs, EAD, CDWA, ONIX), data content (use/reuse/re-contextualize: cataloguing rules, ISBD, GARR, ISAD(G), ISAAR(CPF), CCO), and data value (authentication: authority files, thesauri). Introduction to the analytical model of collections and their catalogues (Collection Level
Description: CLD) developed by M. Heany with examples of retrieval of specific services (built by libraries) based on it aims at making library students understand the functionality of such a concept derived from the archival community (mapping to ISDIAH needs to be introduced into the course). General introduction to identifiers and namespaces, and their functionality is given
with the aim of laying the ground for understanding elementary notions of the semantic web.
Vivian Wong, Graduate Student – MEMORY
Presentation title: Documenting “home” in the diaspora: Memory, records, and identity
Memory forms the fabric of human life, affecting everything from the ability to perform simple, everyday tasks to the recognition of self. Memory establishes life’s continuity; it gives meaning to the present, as each moment is constituted by the past. As the means by which we remember who we are, memory provides the very core of identity.
-Marita Sturken, Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, Politics of Remembering
The past is always with us, and it defines our present; it resonates in our voices, hovers over our silences, and explains how we came to be ourselves and to inhabit what we call ‘our homes.’
-Vijay Agnew, Diaspora, Memory, and Identity: A Search for Home
When people die the memory of their experiences goes with them if they (their experiences) are not documented in some way, made as record, collected and preserved. Or as Sue McKemmish says, “At a more profound level, destroy the memory—the evidence those peoples ever lived in the place—and those cultures never existed as all.” Records need to be made because without them there would be no evidence of the past. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, there can never be too many records of a past that was never documented in the first place from the point-of-view of those who lived the experience. One’s personal records, e.g., letters, photographs, and home movies, are windows into one’s past that would be lost and forgotten if they were not produced and preserved to document life—one’s personal, historical, and cultural past. “Documenting “home” in the diaspora: Memory, records, and identity” discusses the (dis)location of “home” in the diaspora in the context of the transnational immigrant experience and how “records” from that experience (re)produce and (re)configure “home” in multiple places.
The diaspora implies being caught between two “worlds” where the individual’s experience is one of “dynamic tension every day between living ‘here’ and remembering ‘there’, between memories of places of origins and entanglements with places of residence, and between the metaphorical and the physical home.” In other words, notions of home are confounded in the diaspora; and as such, the records of “home” produced by diasporic individuals and groups remake, as well as disperse their histories, experiences, cultures, and identities, while also haunting the collections and recollections of their memories. Using examples from the presenter’s own film work, this presentation will also demonstrate how personal records can be used to (re)create personal narratives as counter historical and cultural narratives, as they produced an alternate record that evidences identity and experience apart from and in addition to national records and official histories, (dis)locating “home” across the boundaries of place and (re)configuring it in the imaginary, creating the archives elsewhere and otherwise beyond the physical borders of the nation-state and its notion of citizenship.
Eunha Youn, Graduate Student –METADATA
How are societal values reflected in the metadata schema? How do metadata schemas reflect societal values?
For a long time, much of what we believe about the nature of records has been based on the discussion in the Western culture. A record is defined as a transaction of activities and an archive is understood as an instrument used by a bureaucracy to document their activities. A record, by nature, is seen as written and fixed. However, the record management system generated by the Western culture could not reflect the concept of record as used in other cultures. There has not been much effort to explain how other cultures understand the concept of records or how they use and have used them, in the past, how they manage their records and build their record management system. More importantly, no consideration has been given to whether the Western record management system fits other cultures’ use. So, frequently the system has overlooked their concept of the record, discarding the records that do not fit the Western concept of what constitutes a record, or distorting its meaning.
Moreover, the use of the internet to provide access to electronic information is increasing globally and the information crosses national boundaries much easier. The advent of digital information brings a new issue, standardization and globalization, into the record management discourse. In order to effectively exchange digital information across different databases, global standardization is understood as the most urgent need to be solved in diverse information communities. The archival community has put much effort to develop a global standard and a model system for the electronic record management. The introduction of a global framework for managing archives includes the development of model archival law, international and national standards, the appearance of polices, strategies and guidelines, electronic records management software, and a rapidly growing development of metadata schema for managing archival information.
However, all these new efforts to build global standard supporting diverse schema are exclusively led by Western countries including North American, Australian, and Western European countries. The frameworks of major research and projects have come under the concepts that have evolved in mainstream archival thought. The countries outside the mainstream have little opportunity to participate in developing the new system. Unbalanced power relationships between the countries, different levels of technological development, lack of archival expertise and different fiscal resources have been obstacles to the participation of non-Western countries in developing new ideas. This exclusion has automatically led to the lack of consideration of the needs of other countries for a different record management practice and has reinforced the archival paradigm generated in the mainstream of Western countries in the new digital era. Consequently, it is important to ask: how has the Western archival paradigm reinforced their archival practice into non-Western societies? How are Western social values embedded in the record management system implanted in other countries? In particular, how does the process of standardization and globalization impact the record management systems that are generated in non-Western societies? And how does digital technology re-generate Western values in the new record management system?
Based on this understanding of the effect of Westernization on records management, this research will examine how metadata schemas are influenced by globalization. In particular, this research will focus on how U.S. EAD metadata influence Korean EAD and how the metadata developed in a Western society have been applied to collections that a non-Western society holds. Ultimately, through this analysis, this research will examine how the metadata are related to the social values in the different cultures. While several studies have been conducted about how archives, records, and the role of the archivist are conceptualized in general, research is still lacking about post colonial archives in general, especially archives in the digital age.
Jane Zhang, Graduate Student – PROVENANCE
The Dutch Manual & the Evolution/Revolution of Archival Theory and Practice
It has been widely recognized that the Dutch Manual established provenance and original order as the fundamental principle of modern archival arrangement and description. This paper argues that the concept of provenance and original order, evolved from the nineteenth century European tradition, remained crucial in shaping archival theory and practice in the twentieth century, and will continue to be a central concern in the twenty-first century digital archival world.
• From the Dutch age up to the Jenkinson era, archivists mainly dealt with old records generated by past regimes.
• Schellenberg’s conception of record group did not emphasize the comprehensiveness of records generated by completely independent creating agencies.
• The complexity and fluidity of contemporary governments forced Australian archivists to abandon the record group and use “the record series as an independent element not bound to the administrative context.”
• The rediscovery of provenance and fonds led Canadian archivists to establish the fonds “as the heart of archival description” to ensure that “the records being preserved provide authentic and adequate documentation of the functions and associated activities of their creator.”
• The concept of provenance has been adopted in the electronic environment. The design and implementation of EAD and EAC can be seen as the digital representation of the archival principle established over one hundred years ago in the Dutch Manual.
• When primary resources of all types are being digitized and displayed on the web, how can we distinguish what are digital archives, what are digital libraries, and what are digital museums? In the age of digital convergence, what do we rely on to keep our identities as archivists? The traditional archival principle of provenance will continue to have an important role to play in addressing these questions.
Re-configuring Original Order
• Sir Hilary Jenkinson considered justifiable that the fundamental principle of preserving the original order might be compromised under special circumstances.
• T.R. Schellenberg considered it a fundamental rule to preserve original order but acknowledged that the rule was not without exceptions.
• The usability and validity of the original order was challenged by archival practitioners and educators in the eighties and nineties.
• The organization and representation of digital archival objects adds to the complexity of the issue. Research is needed to redefine the original order, the purpose of keeping it, and the form it may take, and above all, to answer the question whether the concept of original order is still valid in the volatile digital environment.
We live in an age characteristic of constant change, but until a new consensus can be reached by the archival community to produce a contemporary guide as profound and influential as the Dutch Manual, provenance and original order will remain to be the core of archival principle to guide us to tackle new challenges in the digital archival world.
Amelia Acker, Graduate Student – BIOTECH
“Understanding cell lines as living records: Some implications for archival theory in an age of biotechnology”
What are the ethical and professional responsibilities of archivists to think about new forms of information and life coming out of biotechnology? Tissue culturing is the process of growing living cells outside an organism in a nutrient medium. In the United States “immortal” human and animal cell lines were established and stabilized, they were recognized as hallmarks and objects of reference in cancer and vaccine research by the late 1950s. Widespread contamination that was discovered by early karyotyping techniques in the 1970s forced scientists to create identification and standardization regulations for reference lines in national and privatized cell banks. This paper follows cell cultures (both living technologies and objects of reference) through the history of their standardization to illustrate how new records of “life” have consequences for key archival concepts that rely on narratives of origin (e.g. provenance and original order). The specialized skills that archivists use to identify, appraise, order, preserve and provide access to historical materials shape the communities of practice that we serve to document. How is the shifting concept of life in biotechnology reflected in scientific archives? This study asks if archivists have a [unified] theory of life; whether they have an obligation and the professional agency to prospect new formulations of life; and how these speculations may affect the theory and practice of documentation in the future.
Ross Harvey, Faculty – DIGITAL CURATION
The DCC Curation Lifecycle as a Framework for Teaching Digital Preservation
Abstract: The Digital Curation Centre's Curation Lifecycle is a high-level model of the activities that comprise digital curation. It is intended for organizations to use to model their data curation activities, identifying the specific actions, technologies, standards and skills required at each stage, and adding to it or deleting from it where required. The model is intended to apply to a wide range of digital curation contexts, institutional repositories, digital archives, and electronic records management among them.
The DCC Curation Lifecycle appears to have significant potential to be applied as a framework for a curriculum for teaching digital preservation in the archives context. This presentation reports the results of attempts to apply the Curation Lifecycle as the basis of a digital preservation course in two countries.
Elizabeth Shepherd, Faculty – ARCHIVAL RESEARCH/PRACTICE
Research in archives and records management
Why does research in the discipline of archives and records management matter, or if you prefer, does it matter? What value does research add to what we do, as academics and as practitioner archivists? What is ‘research’ in a professional context (how can it be defined), and what is it for? How can research be embedded into our discipline?
Information policy legislation, modernising and e-government and the emphasis on the role of museums, libraries and archives as cultural, social and educational resources, have placed archives and records management firmly on the UK government’s agenda, but also increased the need for reflection and research. This papers reflects on some of these issues in a UK context and reports on research carried out at UCL which aimed to create a map of the research landscape for the discipline in the UK; the establishment of the UK research Network for archives and records management, ARMReN; and work by the UK educators group, FARMER, which we hope will develop this work nationally and internationally.
Susan Soy, Graduate Student – ARCHIVAL PRACTICE
Research Presentation: Reflective Practice: Its Role in Archives and Archival Education
Reflective practitioners engage with their profession in a positive way, communication with others in their field and questioning themselves as they seek solutions to real problems. They work in a scientific way, forming a hypothesis and testing it in the field, learning as they take a step forward and learning as they sometimes take a step backward.
This study draws upon two case studies informed by the work of Donald A. Schön and Chris Argyris to illustrate how archivists blend wisdom, talent, intuition, and artistry in their professional work. The presentation discusses how archivists span boundaries to reach out to learn from others and discusses the process of reflection and growth using action-oriented experimentation. Schön found that in the field reflection in action blends wisdom, talent, intuition, and artistry to advance forward.
This paper discusses the Model I and Model II work described by Schön and Chris Argyris as it applies to effective professional practice in archives and teaching, drawing examples from case studies to illustrate how these models might apply in the classroom and in the archival environment. A distinction between espoused theory and theory in use is described and illustrated using collection development policies and research observations made during the researcher’s inquiry into how appraisal is conducted in local history repositories.
The paper ends discussing organizational mission and change and how, as we approach 21st century learners, appreciative inquiry may lead to positive change and provide us all with a new method for approaching documentation strategy.