Monday, July 14
8:30 – 9:00 | Continental Breakfast | Bellefield Hall Lobby
9:00 – 10:30 | Plenary: Grand Challenges | Bellefield Hall Auditorium
Chair: Eliot Wilczek, Simmons College
Chair: Heather Soyka, University of Pittsburgh Marika Cifor, University of California, Los Angeles
Mario H. Ramirez, University of California, Los Angeles Stacy Wood, University of California, Los Angeles
Grand challenges are complex, multifaceted, and widely recognized fundamental problems with broad applicability and that require extraordinary breakthroughs and the engagement of multiple areas of expertise to address (National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure Taskforce on Grand Challenges, 2011). Recordkeeping is a fundamental infrastructural component of administrative, economic, scientific, technical, clinical, educational, governance systems, and evidentiary functions. It is also integral to key societal processes such as cultural and community sustainability, identity formation, reconciliation and recovery, and remembering and forgetting. However, the relevance of recordkeeping research and development to grand challenges has not been widely recognized.
Plenary sessions led by Sue McKemmish at AERI 2011 and 2012 began to identify ways in which such research might contribute to nationally and internationally identified societal grand challenges. A special AERI report, authored by an AERI working group, will be presented in this plenary. The draft final report (which will be disseminated to the AERI community in advance of the institute) outlines the need for such research and development, and provides examples of broad areas (e.g., organizational transparency and accountability, global health and well-being, peace and security, environmental sustainability, and human rights and social justice) where it might make important contributions and the kinds of research questions that might be pursued.
The presenters will review the rationale and contents of the report and discuss ways in which it is to be disseminated to other fields and funders engaged in grand challenge research. They will then solicit feedback from the audience regarding the report and plans and strategies for how it might most effectively be utilized.
10:30 – 11:00 | Coffee Break | Bellefield Hall Lobby
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Web Infrastructures | 3rd Floor Common Area SIS
Assessing University Archives Websites Through the Lenses of the Archival Reference Knowledge Framework
Jonathan Dorey, McGill University
This paper will present the results of the first of two phases of my doctoral work. The goal of phase one is to determine how we can operationalize the Archival Reference Knowledge (ARK) (Duff, Yakel, & Tibbo, 2013) framework to systematically investigate archives websites – that is the page or pages that together provide information about and access to archival records and the repository. To do so, we will gather quantitative data about all Canadian universities that have an archives website, in French and English (n=55).
One issue that relates to websites as an entry point into the collections rests with the ability to locate these websites. Subject access is still scant (Beattie, 1990; Beattie, 1997; Daniels & Yakel, 2010) and difficult, due to a lack of standardized controlled vocabularies and a lack of resources for archivists to provide such detailed level of description. Access tools such as finding aids (Yakel, 2002) too often don’t fulfill the needs of users, when they are not simply too difficult to find online (Tibbo & Meho, 2001). A lack of education in archival terminology and practices forces users to rely instead on library education and library search paradigms, which skews their expectations of what they can expect from archival retrieval systems (Yakel, 2002). The ARK framework seeks to address many of these elements by articulating the types of knowledge needed to conduct good reference work and provide exemplary service to users. This phase will answer the following two research questions: how we can operationalize the ARK framework to systematically assess archives websites and what are the similarities and differences between English- language and French-language university archives websites in the context of the ARK framework?
A previous analysis of archives websites was performed (Bromley, 2010), based on the Archival Intelligence model. Archival Intelligence served as a basis to articulate the ARK framework. Bromley (2010) examined 30 American university archives websites and found that the three dimensions of the Yakel’s (2013) Archival Intelligence model are either not fully addressed or not addressed in a systematic, unified way: a lack of user support makes it difficult for novice users to understand descriptive terminology, record formats, record organization, and/or which records are more likely to yield answers to their specific research questions. For this doctoral study, Canadian university archives websites will be analyzed using an adapted version of Bromley’s coding structure. The structure which was previously broken down into the three dimensions of Archival Intelligence, will instead be remapped to the ARK framework.
The goal of this analysis is two-fold: 1) develop an assessment index for the evaluation of archives websites to determine their level of user support based on the ARK framework, and 2) identify exemplary features or websites that will be used in the subsequent phase of this doctoral study to better understand the expectations of first-year undergraduate students with regards to university archives websites.
Family Matters: Control and Conflict in Online Family History Production
Heather Willever-Farr, Drexel University
Millions of family history researchers (FHRs) are cooperatively building web-accessible archives filled with information and images pertaining to deceased individuals for personal use and for public consumption. Yet, we know little about how their production activities are coordinated and constrained by the different systems that support family history work. In this paper, I explore these phenomena through the lens of two different family history production websites: Findagrave.com and Ancestry.com’s family tree archive. These sites of cooperative production have attracted tens of thousands and millions of contributors respectively, yet they embrace content standards, social norms, and models of editorial control that differ radically from the well-studied exemplar of Wikipedia. In this study, I investigated how Ancestry.com and Findagrave.com support production of historical resources through analysis of message boards and interviews with participants. I found that these sites are not only places for building public historical resources, but simultaneously serve as opportunities for public memorialization and familial identity construction. Notably, I found that contributors to these websites embrace the idea of familial oversight of biographical information in order to maintain high standards of quality, and they harbor a corresponding skepticism of the open editing practices that have become a hallmark of many open collaboration projects. While contributors wanted to control content about their own families and wanted restrictions on who could edit their family trees or memorials, their concern for these sites as a public resources evoked frustration with restricted editorial controls. Interviewees and forum posters were frustrated that poorly researched memorials and family trees could not be corrected unless the owner decided to edit the memorial based on their suggested corrections. This tension was exacerbated by the larger problem of inexperienced contributors contributing poor-quality content due to their lack of knowledge of good historical research practices.
These findings suggest that the large number of contributors that these sites are attracting may not be sufficient to sustain the long-term cooperative production of accurate family history resources for current and future generations. The need to not only attract participants, but enculturate them into the practices of a community has been recognized as a primary challenge for open collaboration systems. This often entails interactions among more and less experienced contributors; however, I observed that at times conflict over accuracy has pitted experienced, careful researchers against less experienced researchers who are viewed as careless. Thus, the very individuals who could be mentoring and teaching newcomers about good research practices are angry and lose patience with the restrictions and editorial controls on both Ancestry and Find A Grave. Many committed contributors want the content to be accurate but must rely on others to address inaccuracies and have few avenues to teach newly minted contributors good research practices. In conclusion, I discuss how my findings may inform system design for participatory spaces on archival websites, and explore how these findings may inform archival participatory practice.
Curation Through the Backdoor: Enabling Data Curation Capabilities in a Non-Archival Organization
Lorraine Richards Bornn, Drexel University
“Big Data” is the term used to describe the challenges arising from the ubiquity and ease of data collection and storage. Modern storage systems are increasing capacity at a non-linear rate. One of the fundamental reasons for focusing attention on big data is that there is significant concern about the validity and repeatability of the processes of scientific inquiry as the majority of activities become data centric. The reproducibility and peer review that has made science possible (and successful) for the last 500 years is at risk unless we build the capabilities to ensure that the scientific method can function as it moves nearly entirely into the realm of cyber-infrastructure.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center (FAA WJHTC) is an agency that uses “big data” information resources in the course of large-scale scientific research. For example, a single scientific simulation can use more than two Terabytes of data, not including the documentation that provides necessary contextual information about the experimental processes and environment. I am currently the co-PI on a research project with PI Dr. William C. Regli; we have been working collaboratively with the scientists, engineers and program managers at the FAA WJHTC since May 2013 to develop and enhance current data sets and sources, develop metadata schema, and design a prototype technical architecture to establish an OAIS-compliant digital repository for the Tech Center, Drexel University, and future users of the scientific data and results. A key challenge of this project is that the FAA Tech Center has not previously engaged in digital curation or preservation as routine activities, although it uses big data in the conduct of its primary functions. In addition, metadata standards are nonexistent and data sources derive from a wide variety of external organizations, internal experimental procedures, and complex simulations created to answer specific National Airspace (NAS) questions.
In addition to these digital curation challenges, however, the Tech Center now also faces a new set of requirements. In November 2013 the multi-agency Joint Planning and Development Office released Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Comprehensive Plan: A Report on the Nation’s UAS Path Forward, a plan for bringing unmanned aircraft into the National Air Space. As a result of this plan, the FAA will need to accommodate a huge influx of new data and will need to collaborate more intensively with other geographically distributed agencies implementing the plan’s overall goals, which will require widespread data sharing. The Tech Center personnel are keenly aware that they need to improve their capacity to curate and preserve data for sharing and reuse, and that this curation must meet stringent requirements for authenticity, integrity, reliability, and usability – the four cornerstones of trustworthy digital curation.
I propose to present findings from our collaborative work building digital curation capabilities, metadata schema, and a prototype repository for the FAA WJHTC, focusing on the development of automated metadata within an environment that has no current support for metadata standards, nor any currently available enterprise taxonomy for its scientific research data.
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Theoretical Discourse in Archival Studies | 501 SIS
Transcending Epistemological Dichotomies
Kay Sanderson, Victoria University of Wellington
Over the past quarter century archives and recordkeeping discourse has been troubled by the presence of competing epistemological positions. During this period, critical theorists, often writing under a “postmodern” banner, have repeatedly and convincingly drawn attention to the subjective dimensions of records, the ways records are interpreted, and the actions that archivists and recordkeepers take on them. Nevertheless an objectivist tone persists in much of the discourse and practice continues, for the most part, to be tacitly embedded with positivist assumptions.
Although the presence of this epistemological dichotomy is frequently noted in archival science’s literature, there have been few attempts to explore the spaces between traditional assumptions of empirical realism and the more nebulous ontological assumptions present in postmodern critical theory. On those occasions when the problem of epistemological dichotomies is discussed in the discourse, it is typically in relation to records and recordkeeping or archival practices, the matters that are traditionally of central concern to the discourse community. The concept of evidence, which in records continuum theory implicitly enjoys a position of equal importance to that of record, has been neglected in both traditional and continuum
discourse. A digital age focus on accountability coupled with the lingering presence of objectivist connotations in the word “evidence”, has led too easily to claims that the concept of evidentiality has no relevance in relation to subjectivist concepts of record and problems of interpretation and meaning-making. Accordingly, evidentiality is marginalized and continuum theory is dismissed as fundamentally flawed.
In this paper I look at the intellectual tools which two philosophies of knowledge provide for transcending this troubling epistemological dichotomy. One of these philosophies of knowledge is critical realism, which was founded by Roy Bhaskar. The other is actor-network theory, which I discuss largely in relation to Bruno Latour’s twenty-first century philosophizing about the theory. Both theories are concerned with the quality of knowledge. Each embraces an explicitly realist ontology, arguing that the nature of reality (of which a knowledge claimant is a part) determines how, and the extent to which, we can come to know reality. This philosophical paradigm challenges traditional epistemological assumptions by arguing that subjectivity is not, as Latour put it, a “property of the soul” but a state of mind that is constantly evolving and changing focus as a subject interacts with objects (including other subjects) in the world; and that objectivity is a stance that is always directed at discovering reality through observation of objects, but which acknowledges the presence of subjectivity, the partiality of perception, and the possibility of fallibility. These philosophies of knowledge open the door to the possibility of conceptualising evidence in a way that is consistent with the fundamental logic of continuum theory and relevant to personal records and research uses of records inherited from the past as well as contemporary recordkeeping and the accountability purposes served by government records.
Being Assumed Not to Be: A Critique of Whiteness as an Archival Imperative
Mario H. Ramirez, University of California, Los Angeles
Taking Mark Greene’s recent American Archivist article, “A Critique of Social Justice as an Archival Imperative: What Is It We’re Doing That’s All That Important?,” as its point of departure, this paper poses a critique of normative assumptions of race and class prevalent in the archival profession, and analyzes the concomitant resistance to the integration of social justice and the political. In the recent past, there has been an increasing emphasis placed on rethinking the role of archives and archivists, and the ways in which each reinforce unequal power structures and the manufacturing of distorted histories. This notwithstanding, Greene’s article points towards a strain of resistance to self-reflexivity within the archives community, and, moreover, is emblematic of an inability to think critically about race, whiteness and socio- cultural positionality that are supported by the escalating homogeneity of the profession. Using perspectives derived from archival theory, philosophy and political science, this paper will tease out some of the reasons for this resistance to the “political” and critical within archives, and the problematic implications of efforts to continuously assert the neutrality, if not objectivity, of archival space. It reflects on the ramifications of this latter phenomenon for the archival profession and how it helps reinforce social and political inequalities that curb nascent organizational efforts at diversity and inclusivity.
Derridean Influence: Archival Readings of Archive Fever
Robert Riter, University of Alabama
The evaluation, interpretation, and adoption of postmodern ideas by leading archival thinkers has been of significant consequence in expanding the boundaries of archival thought, and offering redefinitions of the principles, ideas, and concepts that this body contains. Archivists shaping this “postmodern turn” have offered additional interpretative lenses through which to view the role, function, and character of records and archives, the position of archival influence in shaping artifactual identity, and the social responsibilities of archivists. This construction of postmodern archival thought was the result of archivists’ consumption (reading, interpretation, and explication) of postmodern texts. In order to understand this body of thought, and its genesis, evaluating the reception of canonical postmodern texts by archivists is required.
This paper offers a discussion and analysis of archivists’ receptions of Jacques Derrida’s Archive Fever, and its textual influence on archival ideas. This is a study of archival reading. The manner in which archivists read influences the form of the thought that is generated. A clearer understanding of how postmodern strands of archival thought were generated and constructed can be accomplished through this study of archival reading. During the mid 20th, through the early 21st centuries, the weight of Archive Fever, and the ideas it contained, began to be felt in the archival literature. Through a study of this early reading, the early architecture of postmodern archival thought and development can be identified, described, and critiqued.
Using the reception of Derrida’s Archive Fever as a case, I will document a prominent episode of archival reception, and offer an evaluation of its historical and intellectual consequences. This is accomplished through clarifying and explicating acts of initial textual consumption, and the secondary archival consumptions that followed. Lastly, I will demonstrate the utility of methodologies from reception studies to the practice of archival history.
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Community Archives | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
The Miracle: A Queer, Mobile Memory Project
Roderic Crooks, University of California, Los Angeles
The Miracle is an artistic and activist queer project begun in 2004. This article takes the form of a transcribed interview between the founders of the Miracle and a graduate student volunteer. The authors, all participants in The Miracle, describe the queer bookmobile/mobile archives project as an intervention that seeks to protest the loss of queer community spaces in Los Angeles and Oakland, to temporarily disrupt the progress of gentrification and its attendant displacement of poor and minoritized communities, and to “redistribute” knowledge, literature, and information. The purpose of the article is to describe the activity as a memory project centered in a particular community and to continue a conversation between minoritized community groups and the archival profession in the mode of X, Campbell and Stevens’ 2009 contribution to Archivaria, “Love and Lubrication in the Archives, or rukus!: A Black Queer Archive for the United Kingdom.”1 In our work and in this article, we recognize that certain aspects of our practice are incommensurable with archival theory and professional archival standards of description, preservation, or access, but argue that genuine community-based work cannot take place exclusively in the remove of official institutions. Our alternative model of redistribution aims to meet people in the city, in their places of work, and all manner of public and private spaces as a project of memory preservation and political protest.
The Memory Archive of the Puerto Rican Diaspora: A Case Study of the Puerto Rican Community in Holyoke, MA
Joel Blanco-Rivera, Simmons College
During the 1960s, a significant number of Puerto Ricans moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts searching for employment opportunities in seasonal agriculture. The Puerto Rican community continued to growth in Holyoke and today is the largest Latino group in the city (42% of the city population). After various generations, Puerto Ricans in Holyoke continue to celebrate their heritage and traditions. Why Puerto Ricans in Holyoke preserve their heritage?
This research project studies the collective memory of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the city of Holyoke and how this memory becomes an archive that preserves and transmits the group’s identity. Employing methods of archival research and semi-structured interviews, I examine the history of Puerto Ricans in Holyoke and the ways in which they preserve and transmit their Puerto Rican heritage.
Since the late 1990s archivists have increasingly studied the relationship between archives and collective memory. This scholarship includes studies of how under represented communities create and use archives to construct their collective memories. This research project will contribute to this growing scholarship, and will add a theme that is not addressed in the archival literature: the collective memories of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States.
Building Community: Making Community Archives in Korea
Eunha Youn, Chonbuk National University
Since Public Records Act enacted 1999 in Korea, most of attentions were set on the public records management. The term ‘record’ referred only to legal documents. However, during the 2010s, private papers and other community collections began to be gradually recognized as records. This progress is influenced by Seoul city and the policy-makers. To revitalize urban life and to strengthen social network, the city designed several urban renewal projects including the creation of local communities, so called “Maeul”. This brought people’s interests into community records and memories. The presentation will briefly introduce the current community archives in Korea which are built by the top-down supports from the city.
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Archival Embodiment | 403 SIS
Archival Body/Archival Space: Queer Remains of the Chicano Avant-Garde
Robb Hernández, University of California, Riverside
This paper presents an interdisciplinary queer archive methodology I term “archival body/archival space,” which recovers, interprets, and assesses the alternative archives and preservation practices of homosexual men in the Chicano Art Movement, the cultural arm of the Mexican American civil rights struggle in the U.S. Without access to systemic modes of preservation and beseeched by AIDS related loss, these men generated creative recordkeeping formations to resist their erasure, omission, and obscurity. Based on my book manuscript-in-progress, this paper foregrounds a series of archive excavations mining these “archival bodies” from buried and unseen “archival spaces,” such as: domestic interiors, home furnishings, barrio neighborhoods, gay bars, and museum installations. This allows us to reconstruct the artist archive and, thus, challenge how we see, know, and comprehend “Chicano art” as an aesthetic and cultural category. As such, I expand the terms of “evidence” showing different documentation practices. The result of my findings shows a little known queer visual vocabulary in Chicano art and illuminates artist networks for homosexual Chicano cultural workers taking place throughout Southern California.
Principally, I will discuss the operations undergirding my queer archive fieldwork model: archival body ethnography, queer detrital analysis, archival space analysis, containers of desire, and archive elicitation. I posit that by speaking through these artifact formations, the “archival body” performs the allegorical bones and flesh of the artist, an artifactual surrogacy articulated through a compound of textual and visual layers and juxtapositions. My methodological innovation has direct bearing on how sexual difference shapes the material record and emphasizes the places from which these “queer remains” are kept, sheltered, and displayed. The custodians of these records questioned what constitutes an archive and document challenging the biased assumption that sexuality was insignificant to the Chicano Art Movement leaving no material trace.
The structure of my talk will briefly outline three recovery projects utilizing an Archival Body/Archival Space methodology, including: Robert “Cyclona” Legorreta (1952- present), Mundo Meza (1955-1985), and Teddy Sandoval (1949-1995). I argue that the restoration of these artists also reveals the profound symbiosis between this circle of artists, Chicano avant-gardism, and the burgeoning gay and lesbian liberation movement happening in Los Angeles at the time. My findings rupture the persistent heterosexual vision of this period and reveal a parallel visual lineage, one that dared to picture sexual difference in the epicenter of Chicano cultural production.
A Queer/ed Archival Methodology: Re-imagining Temporalities to Challenge the Archive as a Body of Knowledge
Jamie Lee, University of Arizona
This presentation explores queer/ed alternatives to the notions of ‘fixity’ and ‘capture’ as these both relate to the archival record and work to challenge the idea of the archive as a body of knowledge. Utilizing archival theory, performance studies, queer theory, and the decolonial imaginary, I use my hands-on work within the Arizona Queer Archives to challenge notions of chrononormativity to move toward an alternative method to recovering lost histories and marginalized pasts, what Elizabeth Freeman calls erotohistoriography, a term that “can capture the centrality of pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, in queer practices of encountering and documenting the past.” By asking how we might conceive of a record as dynamic and so contested, contestable, and radically open, I will explore varied approaches to temporality to challenge understandings of the archive as a body of knowledge constituted by a presumably static archival record. Such approaches push the boundaries of how archivists and archival theorists do or do not engage the changing nature of the record. Traditional practices can run the risk of reproducing normativities and social divisions in the name of dominant and/or singular versions of lived histories. As deployed here, queer will extend to archival practices, performances, and productions that are often excluded from what is considered ‘proper’ and ‘legitimate’ archives. This presentation rests on the assumption that developing a Queer/ed Archival Methodology (Q/M) can help to ensure that even complex, contradictory, and non- normative histories and records have their places in society’s records. Records in the queer/ed archive can, then, reflect voices and peoples in their everyday range of emotions, pleasures, desires, and experiences.
Conceptualizing an Archive as a Complex Adaptive System
Ellen-Rae Cachola, University of California, Los Angeles
This presentation will explain how the International Women’s Network Against Militarism (IWNAM) is a complex adaptive archival system that manifests transformative events through uses of social, technical and 3-dimensional records. The term transformative draws from David Snowden’s principle of complex adaptive systems, which is the idea of disparate elements of systems interacting and communicating, leading to shifts in the natures of each element.
Social records are defined as oral and kinetic records that exist within the “repository” of the body, and interpersonally as collective memory. Technical records are defined as the rendering of orally and kinetically produced information into externalized information objects, such as text on paper, faxes, mail and email, which are archived on websites, folders and file cabinets. 3-dimensional records are defined as landscapes, infrastructures and institutions that comprise the cities of Olongapo, Philippines and Bayview Hunter’s Point as “archives.” The IWNAM emulates a complex adaptive archival system through using a constellation of archives that bring people from different societies together to experience, share and document militarism as structural violence that generates interpersonal violence across differences. The design and experience of this information exchange facilitates shifts in consciousness and relationality that models possibilities for non-violent international relations.
12:30 – 2:00 | Lunch | Litchfield Towers
2:00 – 3:30 | Workshop: Continuum Conversations: Case Study Exploration of the Records Continuum Model | 3rd Floor Common Area
Chair: Joanne Evans, Monash University Chair: Sue McKemmish, Monash University Belinda Battley, Monash University
Greg Rolan, Monash University Heather Soyka, University of Pittsburgh Narissa Timbery, Monash University
A visit by a US Study Abroad Class, led by Dr. Kimberly Anderson, to Monash University in July 2013 offered a rare treat for Australian Records Continuum scholars and practitioners. It provided a moment to step outside the theory and practice we are so deeply embedded in and reflect on how it appears to outsiders. The upshot was a fascinating discussion of the past, present and potential futures of continuum theory and practice, with agreement to look for opportunities to pursue further such conversations. Particularly to pick up the gauntlet laid down by Frank Upward and set the agenda for third generation continuum archival and recordkeeping research, education and practice.
This workshop aims to progress such reflective discussions, using a case study to explore facets and fractals of the Records Continuum Model. Let’s face it – it is complex – as that is the nature of 21st century recordkeeping realities we have to deal with. It is also a sensemaking model, perhaps best understood when put in motion and used to reason through real life archival and recordkeeping situations. Through this, the Model and our understandings of it also evolve; in the case of the July 2013 workshop challenging terminology and questioning its visual representations.
After an introduction to the case study and the Records Continuum Model, led by Monash PhD students, breakout groups will be charged with exploring it from differing perspectives, namely:
Designing a teaching module,
Scoping out a research project,
Developing a tool for communicating continuum concepts beyond discipline and professional boundaries.
Through these activities participants will develop understanding of Records Continuum concepts and share in the defining of the next generation agenda for its further articulation and development.
The case study will focus on the Maori Land Court/Maori Affairs records held at Archives NZ which date from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Over the last decade or so these have been selectively copied by Waitangi Tribunal staff and bound, together with other related records and published material, into the Raupatu Document Bank (http://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/subject-guides/maori/guides/maori_land.htm – RDB), now around 140 volumes, and used as evidence in land and other claims under the Treaty of Waitangi. Raupatu means, essentially, confiscation, and these records relate to land confiscated from Maori owners by the Crown. In addition, a searchable online database has been created from the Maori Land Court Minute Books (http://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/subject- guides/maori/guides/maori_land.htm#mlcmbi)
Upward, F. (1996). Structuring the Records Continuum: Part One: Postcustodial Principles and Properties. Archives and Manuscripts, 24(2), 268–285. Also available at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/research/groups/rcrg/publications/recordscontinuum- fupp1.html
Upward, F. (1997). Structuring the Records Continuum: Part Two: Structuration Theory and
Recordkeeping. Archives and Manuscripts, 25(1), 10–35. Also available at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/research/groups/rcrg/publications/recordscontinuum- fupp2.html
Reed, B. (2005). Reading the Records Continuum: Interpretations and Explorations. Archives and Manuscripts, 33(1), 18–43. Also available at http://www.records.com.au/pdf/Reading_the_Records_Continuum.pdf
2:00 – 3:30 | Paper Session: The Imagined Self | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
“Leaving the mouse on the left is the new leaving the tape in the VCR”: Personal Archiving, Personal Information Management, and the “Pariah Industry” of Web Pornography, an Exploratory Study
Alex Poole, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Sarah Ramdeen, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
In personal archives, examples of collections usually include photographs, prized possessions and other materials that are important to the collector. Persons save such materials to record events, capture emotions or memories, or for future use. Though personal collections have expanded to include digital objects as well as analogue objects, these themes persist.
Conversely, why would persons choose to save illicit materials such as pornography? How do they learn to do so? How does this particular personal archiving activity fit into their larger personal archiving strategy? This paper will examine the ways in which persons manage pornography in personal digital archives. A popular website recently reported that pornographic sites earn more traffic monthly than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. Scholars must begin to take such PIM topics and the archiving practices implicated in them seriously. As Cal Lee and Rob Capra suggest, “the ARM and PIM research communities have a great deal to learn from each other.”
A social news and entertainment site, Reddit is a curated list of links to news articles, videos, images, and other web-based materials. The site maintains submitted materials and discussion forums linked to these materials in which users comment on and discuss the posted items. Though each contributor logs in using a unique user name, her account remains anonymous unless she chooses to identify herself. Contributors earn “karma” (points) for their posts and comments, comments that are wholly open to the public. Conversations related to the management of pornography often appear—both in- and out-of-context—in discussion forums. In these conversations, issues related to PIM and archival management invariably emerge, even if contributors may not recognize them as such. This paper will cover topics such as evolving personal management practices related to digital as opposed to physical content, overcoming educational boundaries in order to maintain these collections, and discussions of attitudes related to these being “sensitive” as opposed to “typical” materials.
The Film Collector as Vernacular Archivist
Andy Uhrich, Indiana University, Bloomington
Specialized programs in moving image preservation have professionalized the field of film archiving over the last fifteen years. What was previously a skill gained through apprenticeship is now one requiring a graduate degree and participation in professional organizations. This has significantly benefited this subfield of archiving by crafting a set of common knowledge assuring employers that graduates of these programs are competently trained. However, it runs the risk of shutting off the occupation of moving image archiving from individuals who have gained skills by other means and alienating communities that do not participate in graduate education.
To consider this issue of disciplinary boundaries and participatory archiving in relation to film preservation this paper examines the practice of private film collecting, where individuals collect motion pictures, of various genres, on photochemical film stock. Film collecting has, in one form or another, been an ongoing activity since the origins of cinema and continues today in the post-film era of digital film production and preservation. It has been the shadow practice of institutional moving image archiving, offering new directions for the field – Henri Langlois’ creation of the Cinémathèque Française in 1935, Rick Prelinger’s focus on ephemeral films in the 1990s – while being seen as a source of piracy and uncontrollable cinephilia. With the end of film prints and the rise of a significantly more virulent form of illegal distribution through DVD and online piracy, film collectors have begun to go public as film preservationists. Individual collectors have received preservation grants from the National Film Preservation Foundation or crowdfunded digitization projects through Kickstarter; David Pearce’s recent report on the state of silent film preservation records how a small yet significant percentage of extant silent films exist only with private collectors.
While being careful not to valorize a practice that at its extreme became secretive and possessive, this paper approaches film collectors as organic intellectuals for the purpose of reconsidering assumptions about the proper formation and implementation of institutional film archiving. It applies theories of the participatory archive from scholars such as Isto Huvila to the field of film archiving. How do film collectors, as a nonprofessional affinity group, practice film archiving differently than professional archivists? Should institutional film archives merely look at private film collectors as a source for rare prints or can the approaches of film collectors expand professional methods? For example, and though this is an ever changing target, what is the proper balance between access and preservation for archival films? How can institutional film archives balance an impulse to become more open to community involvement with a very understandable concern about protecting quickly degrading moving image artifacts? With the continuing challenge of limited budgets and a move by some large institutions to divest of analog holdings after digitization, does a more distributed form of archiving, where private individuals continue to protect media artifacts actually provide a more inclusive and sustainable model?
The Turn Inwards at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives
Danielle Cooper, York University
Nestled within Ann Cvetkovich’s groundbreaking, largely theoretical and metaphorical exploration of queer archives in An Archive of Feelings are some “actually existing archives” created by LGBT grassroots organizations, such as the Lesbian Herstory Archives and the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives. Cvetkovich cautions us to remember these LGBT grassroots archives’ queer tactics in the wake of LGBT and queer studies popularization and the subsequent creation of institutionalized LGBT information collections. Yet, as new LGBT archives proliferate and already existing LGBT archives continue to evolve, it is also important to develop a more nuanced understanding of LGBT grassroots archives and how they have changed over time, queerly or not.
Founded in 1973 as a repository for the gay liberation newspaper The Body Politic, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is one of the largest LGBT archives in the world and remains primarily volunteer-based and entirely autonomous from other institutions and archives. Drawing from the CLGA’s newsletters from 1977 to 1995, this paper traces the organization’s changing orientation towards history and historicizing including: the figures and events the archive perceived as historically relevant, the historical methods and tactics the archive promoted and engaged in, and how the archive engaged with history as a scholarly discipline.
The CLGA newsletters reflect that the organization became increasingly depoliticized and distanced from history-making over time, partly because the archive separated from The Body Politic after police raids on both organizations and partly because the archive’s growth led to a turn inwards, or, a focus on internal logistics and mainstream acceptance over broader historical engagement. For example, in the earliest issue of the newsletter in 1977 boldly stated: “where does one begin to search out such history? The answer is simply everywhere.” By issue eleven in 1995, however, gay history’s seeming overabundance had become a problem for the CLGA and the newsletter warned that “the rapid growth of the holdings, changing technology, and the increasingly diverse demands of researchers…have placed pressures on volunteers and on our funding base.”
Drawing on Lisa Duggan’s framework for evaluating the normalizing and mainstreaming of LGBT lives and communities, this paper positions the CLGA’s evolving practices as constituting archival homonormativity. As the CLGA case demonstrates, archival homonormativity not only implicates what historical subjects LGBT archives collect and re-claim, but also how LGBT archives position themselves in relationship to history-making as a wider project. Casting a critical gaze on the values and assumptions conveyed in the primary documents of LGBT archives like the CLGA newsletters complicates dominant understandings of LGBT grassroots archives and demonstrates the necessity of historicizing organizations devoted to the LGBT past.
2:00 – 3:30 | Paper Session: Archival Representation | 501 SIS
Archival Description at the Twilight of EAD 2002: Community Usage
Sarah Buchanan, University of Texas at Austin
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) has provided repositories an encoding standard with which to express archival finding aids since its creation in 1993 and implementation beginning in 1996. As one measure of its widespread adoption by collecting repositories, consider that the nationwide corpus of ArchiveGrid currently comprises over 130,000 EAD documents (Jan. 2014). While the markup language currently in wide use in EAD 2002 is a Document Type Definition (DTD) based on XML, its earlier basis as EAD Version 1.0 (1998) was SGML, chosen expressly for its support of structured hierarchical relationships through tags. This spring, the archival community witnessed the official release of EAD3, a culmination of the work of SAA’s Technical Subcommittee for Encoded Archival Description (TS-EAD) and Schema Development Team (SDT of the Standards Committee) that began with its charge in February 2010. As indicated in the previous alpha, beta, and gamma releases of EAD3, DTD itself is slated for retirement as the maintained schema language of choice, to be replaced by RelaxNG (with derivative XSD and DTD versions also available). These technical changes provide a background for understanding the current state and origin of archival finding aids authored in EAD, and how this data corpus may fare with introduction of a new version of the standard.
At this time of transition for archival description activities, archivists and archival institutions may be rethinking their prospective usage of the EAD standard as a communication medium for their collections. This research presents an overview of the types of institutions that currently provide collection descriptions in the open dataset of ArchiveGrid. An understanding of this community of contributors, drawn from a literature review and visual overview of archival institutional types, will help inform new approaches to EAD3.
Photographic Documents in Archival Fonds
Aline Lacerda, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
The purpose of this study is to promote a methodological reflection upon the organizing system applied to the photographic records in the archives, be they personal or institutional. It covers such organizing systems at their key stages – appraisal, arrangement and description – associated with the specifics of the visual documents in the archive funds.
In my doctorate degree I analyzed the specificities of photographic registers in the archival context of production. With the title The photographs in the archives, the research seeked to investigate how photographs has been treated by archival science and focused on the nature of photographic medium and its use as an archive document.
The main goal of my paper is to discuss how archival principles and theories are challenged by photographic documents and to present some reflections upon the methodological stages of identification, arrangement and description of these materials by the light of the contextual aspects of the production of the image, instead of observation mostly their content aspects.
3:30 – 4:00 | Coffee Break | 3rd Floor SIS
4:00 – 5:30 | Paper Session: Archival Standards | 403 SIS
Exploring Archival Standards within the Sociology of Knowledge
Zack Lischer-Katz, Rutgers University
This research examines the construction of knowledge within archival communities, particularly in relation to the development of standardized practices and techniques. Taking the controversial JPEG2000 standard as a case study, this research looks at how knowledge claims and the construction of evidence used to support those claims have been discursively constructed within the video preservation community. To conduct this research, 433 discussion board postings from the Association of Moving Image Archivists Listserv were collected from the years 2000-2013 and analyzed using Reiner Keller’s Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse. The findings of this research help to identify the dominant interpretive frames and epistemic techniques that shape knowledge around JPEG2000. In addition, this research suggests the efficacy of examining discourses on archival standards as a means to explore the social epistemology of archival communities. This type of research into the shaping of archival knowledge helps to articulate the cultural and historical specificity of archival techniques, which provides essential information for future scholars seeking to understand the ways in which archival techniques shape collections.
Measuring User Conceptions of Trustworthiness for Digital Archival Documents
Devan Donaldson, University of Michigan
Trust is the most fundamental but perhaps least well understood property of digital repositories that hold and preserve archival documents. For at least fifteen years, information scientists, digital curators, archivists, and computer scientists have worked successfully to design and construct robust, standards- oriented storehouses for digital archival documents. As these digital repositories scale in size and complexity, they are becoming essential sources for increasingly diverse populations of users, ranging from scholars, students, government and corporate administrators, investigators from the private sector, genealogists, and the general curious public. Scholarship across multiple disciplines has demonstrated that trust in a digital repository tends to originate with organizational branding, surrounds and envelops the “control zone” of the managed digital space, and so resides primarily at the collective level of the repository.
In spite of its conceptual centrality, little research has investigated trust of the documentary contents of repositories as conceived by the designated communities of users that the repository is intended to serve.
This presentation focuses on the second part of a two-phase, mixed-methods investigation into user conceptions of trustworthiness for archival documents housed in a large, heterogeneous, government-run digital repository. Via semi-structured focus group discussion, Phase One involves eliciting perspectives on trustworthiness from genealogists who regularly utilize documents preserved by the Washington State Digital Archives. Utilizing thematic analysis and micro-interlocutor analysis to examine interview transcripts and video recordings, findings specify the sub-elements of a multi-faceted conception of trustworthiness, including: accuracy, authenticity, believability, completeness, currency, first-hand or primary nature, form, legibility, objectivity, stability, and validity. Phase Two, the focus of the presentation, includes constructing and testing the Digital Repository Document Trustworthiness Index (DRDTI), which is grounded in perceptions of trustworthiness identified as a result of Phase One. The DRDTI can help digital repository managers identify which facets of user document trustworthiness perception relate to curatorial responsibilities. Equipped with this knowledge, digital repository managers can further refine their services in ways that engender and sustain trust.
Beyond Textbooks: Primary Sources and Inquiry-Based Learning in K-3 Classrooms
Patricia Garcia, University of California, Los Angeles
With the widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards, many K-12 educators are faced with the task of developing innovative teaching strategies that will meet the new standard requirements. One effect of the new adoption is the requirement that educators utilize primary sources as tools to promote inquiry-based learning. The pressure faced by educators to adhere to the new standards coupled with a lack of practical and pedagogical knowledge on how to best approach integrating primary sources into classroom instruction has created a need for archival studies scholars to closely examine the practices and needs of educators in order to improve archival services and establish effective collaborations between educators and archivists.
This presentation will present preliminary findings from twenty semi-structured interviews and a nine-month participant observation study that focused on analyzing the relationship between inquiry-based educational practices and the critical thinking skills that are fostered through the instructional use of primary sources. While previous research has explored how primary sources may be used as “support” tools in social studies curriculum, this study situates primary sources as essential and fully integrated instruments of learning and focuses on understanding the role that primary sources can play in promoting inquiry-based learning in STEM fields, such as science and math. Ultimately, the study is designed to collect and analyze qualitative data that will assist both the archival studies and education fields develop professional practices that will ultimately lead to the effective use of primary sources as instructional tools.
4:00 – 5:30 | Paper Session: Information Infrastructures | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
Augmenting Humanities Scholarship by Applying New Linking Technologies to Archival Description
Amalia Levi, University of Maryland
Digitization of archival holdings has greatly enhanced humanities scholarship. At the same time, the impossibility of digitizing everything, or in ways that make them machine readable, the practice of describing at the aggregate level, and the lack of interoperability among institutions are still factors that impede big data humanities research.
Archivists have joined librarians and museum curators in exploring and applying Linked Open Data as one of the ways to overcome these limitations. Current applications however are being targeted at the metadata level, while most information about the content and context of archival holdings can be found in archival description as natural language free text and thus is not computationally malleable.
Recent research in archival literature has recognized this problem and explored the usefulness of applying entity recognition and linked open data as a way to enrich and augment archival description by opening it up to the Linked Open Data cloud and other external knowledge bases.
During the same time, computer scientists have been developing technologies for the automatic extraction of entities and relationships, and construction of knowledge graphs that can have ground breaking implications for cultural heritage institutions and humanities research at the infrastructural level. Currently however the applicability of such technologies has been tested on datasets that satisfy computer science’s need for volume and testability, but do not reflect the subtleties and challenges of archival material. Furthermore, these technologies have been developed without taking into consideration the perspective of humanities scholars as the end users, and subsequently this gives rise to questions regarding the validity and authoritativeness of the knowledge bases used.
This study re-conceptualizes archival collections as knowledge bases to be consulted and linked to, rather than as static objects in need of enrichment. It suggests that today it is possible to achieve this by applying machine reading technologies to archival descriptions. It also suggests that in order for such technologies to better serve the users of such collections (scholars and archivists), their perspective and research practices need to considered and incorporated at the infrastructural level.
This study will utilize as case studies dispersed collections of material in US and European archives that conceptually belong together and are used by historians conducting transnational history. In order to test the above premises a test dataset from these collections will be created, and through interviews and surveys with computer scientists, humanities scholars, and archivists, the applicability, feasibility, and desirability of machine reading technologies for the construction of knowledge graphs out of these collections will be examined.
The research questions to be explored are: How do computer scientists perceive the applicability of machine reading technologies to archival collections? In which ways does the application of such technologies allow us to see archival holdings as knowledge bases? How do humanities scholars and archivists perceive the usefulness of these techniques in their research and work processes? This presentation will outline the theoretical background of the research, and will discuss the methods to be employed. This is ongoing research pertaining to my dissertation.
Data Sharing and Reuse in the Sciences: An Investigation of Infrastructure Factors
Angela Murillo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Data sharing and reuse in the sciences has been a topic of growing attention over the last several years. This attention stems from changes that are occurring within scientific practices driven by the data deluge (Bell, Hey, & Szalay, 2009; Hey & Trefethen, 2003), fourth paradigm data-intensive science (Hey, Tansley, & Tolle, 2009), and changes in journal and grant agency policies (National Institutes of Health, 2003; National Science Foundation, 2010). The sharing of data provides the ability to extract additional value from data, avoid reproducing research, enables researchers to ask new questions of existing data, and advance the state of science in general (Borgman, 2012). These potential opportunities of data sharing and reuse have placed pressure on the scientific community and funding agencies to provide infrastructure solutions for the changes occurring in scientific practice
To address the above, in 2007 the U.S. National Science Foundation announced a request for proposals for Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners (DataNet). The DataNet Partners were created to develop long-term sustainable data infrastructures, interoperable data preservation and access, and cyberinfrastructure capabilities (National Science Foundation, 2006). The Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE), one of the initial DataNet Partners, provides cyberinfrastructure for open, persistent, robust, and secure access to well-described and easily discovered earth science observational data” (DataONE, 2013). Scientists participating in DataONE are able to deposit, search, and reuse data available through the various DataONE tools.
The majority of studies specific to DataONE have addressed: the organization and the infrastructure, specific tools that the DataONE has created, and the DataONE community. Additionally, the majority of data sharing literature have addressed: general reasons why scientists should share data, journal and grant policies that influence data sharing, behavioral aspects that influence data sharing, and have been conducted in the biological sciences. As there have been few evaluations of the DataONE, it is timely to evaluate the cyberinfrastructure progress. Furthermore, as the DataONE focuses on earth science data, this provides an environment for studying data sharing within the earth sciences. The proposed research recognizes specific gaps in the literature: (1) the need to evaluate the DataONE cyberinfrastructure progress, (2) the need for studying how this infrastructure impacts data sharing, and (3) the need for studying sharing in the earth sciences.
From the above research problem, specific research questions have been developed including:
Within the DataONE environment, what infrastructure and interoperability factors facilitate or inhibit data sharing and reuse?
Within the DataONE – ONEMercury, which results are deemed relevant for reuse? What properties of these data and metadata facilitate or inhibit reuse?
In order to address the above, the researcher has proposed a mixed method approach including a review of transaction logs of the DataONE search interface – ONEMercury, a quasi-experimental study, a survey of the DataONE community asking them about their sharing and reuse activities, and follow up intensive interviews. This paper presentation will provide an overview of the research problem, research questions, methodology and proposed time-line for the researcher’s planned dissertation.
Understanding Digitization Partnerships Between State Archives and the Private Sector
Adam Kriesberg, University of Michigan
Access to public records is a foundational pillar of democracies, dependent upon strong archival institutions at all levels of government. My dissertation examines the recent expansion of public-private partnerships involving US state archives and their effects on citizens’ access to digitized materials. It focuses on the ways in which government archives and libraries in US states and territories engage with the private sector on digitization project for records such as state census, birth, death, agriculture, land ownership and use, and other events central to life in a democracy. This increase in partnerships involving publicly-funded cultural heritage institutions presents a research opportunity. The implementation and effects of these partnerships have not been documented and incorporated into the archival research community beyond the level of individual case studies. Through a mixed-methods social science approach, this project seeks to understand how these partnerships form, how they are negotiated, managed, and how they end. It further examines how digitization through partnerships affects public access to records. The results draw upon interviews with individuals working in both the public and private sector who are involved with negotiation and management of partnerships as well as a survey that combines original data with historical data collected by the Council of State Archivists (COSA). In this presentation, I present preliminary results from the study, focusing primarily on a set of interviews with employees of private sector firms and on the survey data.
4:00 – 5:30 | Paper Session: Open Government | 501 SIS
Open Government/Closed Records: Information Asymmetry in the Study of Access to Information
James Lowry, University College London
In 1919, Kafka’s parable, Before the Law, presented an analogy of the relationship between the individual and the state, which is characterised by an imbalance of power arising from what, in economics, after Akerlof’s 1970 paper The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism, is called ‘information asymmetry’, where one party in an interaction has more accurate or complete information than the other. In Kafka’s parable, ‘the man from the country’ allows himself to be denied access to the law by, firstly, legitimising the law by attempting to access it, secondly, legitimising the gatekeeper’s authority by accepting his prohibition to enter the open door on the basis of his claim to authority and suggestion that more powerful gatekeepers wait inside. The veracity of the gatekeeper’s authority and the reality of what is behind the door are unknown to the man. Evidence that the protection of information – the maintenance of information asymmetry – is a common means by which states, companies and individuals protect (or project) power over others is easily to be found in studies in the fields of sociology, political science and continental philosophy, inter alia. Histories of Freedom of Information in Britain are rich with observations of bureaucratic resistance to the release of information. In 2011, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) was established as a vehicle to support and promote transparent and accountable government internationally. The discourse around the OGP suggests a widespread interest in redressing the imbalance of power between governments and people, with a focus on service delivery and the protection of individual rights. The movement towards government openness has spurred new approaches to promoting government transparency and called into question the effectiveness of existing approaches, such as Freedom of Information. However, the persistence of the use of pre-existing secrecy and security measures has not been examined in this context. Despite the high profile of the openness movement, very little attention has been given to the laws, policies and practices that continue to be used to restrict access to information, for instance Official Secrets legislation, the Lord Chancellor’s Security and Intelligence Instrument, the Defence Notice (D-Notice) system (official requests not to publish or broadcast on matters of national security), protective marking policies, and established practices on the closure of government files (such as the 30 year rule). These impediments to access are unknown to most people seeking information from government. In what ways are they still used to limit access to information and how effective are Freedom of Information and other openness measures while these impediments exist?
Case Study: How United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNUC) Communicate Using a Particular Genre as Medium of Communication
Benedicta Obodoruku, Long Island University
This case study is an exploratory study that examined the United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNUC). This study looked at various genres of communication such as: cables, memos, telex, telegraph, letters- outgoing correspondence, and incoming correspondence that the UNUC used as the medium of communication to manage and organize in the field. This research study applied JoAnne Yates’s framework of genres in Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management and several theorists. Genres could be stretched to “nonliterary discourse to refer to types of communication that have similar formats and purposes” (Yates 1989, p. 288). Yates’ definition of genres indicated that a genre could be stretched to “non literary discourse to refer to types of communication” (Yates 1989, p. 288), which ties in with various genres of communication applied in this study. Communicating across distance could be difficult, especially, when communicating across the globe. The UNUC in the Congo communicated from New York, and across Europe to Congo [in African] during the Congo war from 1948 to 1973. UNUC used several genres of communication to overcome the barriers in distance communication and carry out the organizational and managerial procedures. This study used observation and content analysis methods to observe, review and analyze several genres of incoming and outgoing correspondences of UNUC Officer–in-Charge Sture Linner’s cables from 1961-1962 to identify various communications that the UNUC used in the field in Congo. UNUC Officer–in-Charge Sture Linner’s cables from 1961- 1962 fond S-0604 were reviewed at the UN Archives Records Managements Sections (UNARMS) in New York City U.S.A.
According to the findings of this study 80% of cable genres including Top Secret cables were major medium of communication used by UNUC and stakeholders in the field on administrative, political and financial issues. UNUC and Chief of Defense used 20% genre memos on arm shipments, immigration, aircraft safety, and internal communication.
Toward an Evidential Paradigm for Metadata
Stacy Wood, University of California, Los Angeles
In late 2013, The Guardian began publishing a series of leaked documents, given to them by a former contractor for the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden. A frenzy ensued, and media outlets were saturated with attempts to understand and interpret both the documents and their consequence for publics both within and outside of the United States. One of the initial revelations was the existence of PRISM, a massive data gathering and surveillance program. Exposed through a series of internally circulating PowerPoint slides, the program reached beyond public borders to include corporate metadata and infrastructure. The slides effectively pushed metadata as both category and content into the public sphere. This sudden appearance of metadata requires persistent definitional work within a multiplicity of contexts, but the most common deferral is the colloquialism “data about data.” However, the most staunch defenders of the PRISM program rely on a definition of metadata that leaves us with a paradox. Somehow metadata is simultaneously not content and therefore implicitly a subject of no import on an individual level as well as a valuable source of intelligence worthy of propping up an expensive and now scandalous mass surveillance program. Metadata in this instance is being collected as a specific manner of evidence, produced as part of larger intelligence gathering activities, justified by its relationship to a set of networks devoted to safeguard from terrorist activities. Metadata as evidence however, is neither settled or obvious. In order to begin to understand metadata’s current evidentiary value, we must set it in motion within the context of historical-juridical definitions of evidence that make up the foundations of evidentiary value itself. Employing Carlo Ginzburg’s concept of “evidential paradigms” and archival theory regarding value, this paper explores what an evidential paradigm of metadata might look like. In his construction of “evidential paradigms,” Ginzburg uses psychoanalysis, art criticism and fiction to bring an emergent paradigm of evidence that permeated and defined much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This paper will similarly employ a range of cultural products including fictional representations, legal precedent and rhetorics of “big data.”
6:00 – 8:00 | Opening Reception | 3rd Floor SIS
Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Library System
Tuesday, July 15
8:30 – 9:00 | Continental Breakfast | Bellefield Hall Lobby
9:00 – 10:30 | Plenary: Diversity | Bellefield Hall Auditorium
Chair: Kelvin White, University of Oklahoma AERI Emerging Archival Scholars
Over the past two years, the Emerging Archival Scholars Program (EASP) has recruited minority students at the undergraduate and graduate levels to consider undertaking doctoral education focusing in Archival Studies. Our goal has been to stimulate and begin to nurture the growth of a new and more diverse generation of scholars who are versed in interdisciplinary research that addresses issues in Archival Studies, broadly conceived. This plenary will present the views of past and current EASP participants on issues of diversity and archives from each their perspectives.
10:30 – 11:00 | Coffee Break | Bellefield Hall Lobby
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Affective Archive | 3rd Floor Common Area SIS
Visceral Forces: Introducing Affect Studies to Archival Discourse
Marika Cifor, University of California, Los Angeles
Over the last few decades practicing archivists and archival studies scholars have begun the vitally important work of expanding the archival field in order to critically address and document a more diverse set of social and cultural concerns that better reflect the world around us. Though significant progress has been made in opening conversations in the field about concerns including race, gender, class, and other issues of social equity and justice there are significant gaps remaining to be addressed in terms of turning these notions into new and innovative epistemologies for archival studies. My paper will address these gaps by introducing concepts, practices, and frameworks from affect studies into the conversation. This work will open up new theoretical and practical possibilities and develop new frameworks in the archival field that better reflect a broader social consciousness and underdocumented realms of human experience.
The study of affects, “those visceral forces beneath, alongside, or generally other than conscious knowing that can serve to drive us toward movement, toward thought,” and ever- changing forms of relation has become a burgeoning area of interdisciplinary scholarly inquiry in recent years. In service of the development of new epistemologies and methodological toolkits I will introduce the context, terms, and critical emphases of affect studies to the theoretical, professional and cultural components of archival discourse. Drawing on theoretical and applied literature on affects from anthropology, cultural, gender, queer, and critical ethnic studies my paper will begin by introducing affect studies and its critical texts to a new audience. The theories, applications, and broader concepts presented in my paper will serve three significant purposes. First, to demonstrate clearly and effectively the compatibility between affect studies and the literature, foundations, and debates within archival discourse. Second, it will examine the important interventions that affect studies can make to the ways in which archives and ancillary information types and domains are studied, documented, and taught in both academia and professional practices. I will use affect studies to illustrate the need for an archives that contains and is shaped by affects. Traditional archives and their records offer insufficient means for documenting the significance of the affective concerns of identity, place, spirituality, love, intimacy, sexuality, trauma, and activism to human experience. Additionally, the radical possibilities opened by exposing the affective experiences of using archives and of doing archival work will be examined. Finally, introducing affect studies into the archival field is an integral part of reinventing the field to create spaces for a critical social consciousness as part of working towards achieving the cultural, memory, and accountability missions of our field.
Records and Recordkeeping Practices in the Aftermath of Ethnic and Religious Conflict: A Study of Agency and Affect in Contemporary Croatia
Anne Gilliland, University of California, Los Angeles
Although extensive work has been undertaken at national and international levels addressing the role of archives and recordkeeping in tribunals and reconciliation efforts in the aftermath of wars and other violent conflicts, little research within the archival field itself addresses or seeks to understand the ongoing impact of archives and recordkeeping on the immediate lives of individuals and communities seeking to recover and establish transparency after such conflicts. Nor has research looked at any specific implications there might be for records, recordkeeping and archives in regions historically dominated by or recovering from ethnically and religiously oriented divisions and strife, and how these might manifest themselves within records, metadata and recordkeeping practices. My research addresses these lacks, examining the agency and affect of records and archives on individual lives in Croatia (and by extension, in the diaspora of those who left the region) in the aftermath of the Yugoslav Wars. It takes Akhil Gupta’s theory of structural violence and extends it to situations in which bureaucratic recordkeeping perpetrates violence in situations of ethnic and religious divisions, often long after any physical conflict has ceased. In concert with Gupta’s ideas, it is hard to point to a single agent or system that perpetuates structural violence precisely because it is systemic. Perhaps more important in terms of mitigating it, the structural violence can also be transparent to those who are not its victims.
This paper will report on ethnographic and archival components of this research that are exploring:
the effects of records, recordkeeping, recordkeeping metadata and archives on people’s daily lives
how people feel about records and recordkeeping processes
the “stories” people tell about records:
Are there common themes and tropes? Are there certain kinds of records that are particularly central to these stories?
how people react to the classifications and assumptions imposed by records
are people aware of “codes” embedded in records as they are in social relations? If so, do they overtly read for, or subconsciously respond to them?
what, if any contact have these individuals had with archives? What feelings or reactions did such contact engender?
“Make Yourself at Home”: Strategic Actions and Sustainability at Four Lesbian and Gay Archives
Rebecka Sheffield, University of Toronto
My research involves a multiple case study that looks at the trajectories and strategic actions at four community-led lesbian and gay archives. These are the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (Toronto), the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives (Los Angeles), the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives (West Hollywood), and the Lesbian Herstory Archives (Brooklyn). This project uses social movement theory to investigate the how these organizations were founded, the ways in which they have sustained themselves over the years, and the strategies they have used to acquire and manage limited resources. The study of lesbian and gay archives (and, indeed, all community-based activist archives) is enriched by social movement theory because this framework highlights the ways in which these organizations manifest social movement ideologies and goals.
This paper, if selected for inclusion in the 2014 program, will report early findings of my dissertation research. Preliminary analysis suggests that these four lesbian and gay archives experience common challenges, but each has managed its resources in different ways and with varying levels of success, dependent on geographic, socio-historical, and ideological contexts. Interviews with archivists, volunteers, and community partners also indicate that these archives initially attracted investment from local communities because they served as social spaces, providing volunteers with a place to contribute to collective action for social change. The ways in which people have come to the archives and what has kept them involved has implications for attracting new investment from younger generations born after the gay liberation movement in very different socio-political environments. This study also supports Stevens, Flinn and Shepherd (2010), who found that community-led archives are under considerable pressure to “hand over” their collections to academic institutions. The ways in which each case has negotiated this pressure and the relationships they have pursued with academic institutions suggest new avenues for engagement between universities and community-led archives that diverge from traditional custodial agreements.
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Material Culture and Archives | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
Making Architecture: A Socio-Technical Examination of Artifacts
Katie Pierce Meyer, University of Texas at Austin
A story of contemporary architecture is one of making things – making places, making buildings, making drawings, making models, making decisions. It is a messy story with a lot of actors, only some of who are architects. Architecture is a social practice that extends beyond the walls of any firm, to collaborators within the field, to clients with particular expectations, to government officials making decisions about building code, to tool designers aiding in design and construction processes, to the artifacts created through the application of those tools. Each of these actors plays a role in the history of architecture and the construction of the built environment.
In this paper, I will focus on the artifacts that are created through the everyday activities of an architectural firm – drawings, models, specifications, contracts, spreadsheets, writings, membership documentation, sketches, and notes, to name a few – as the material culture of practice. Architects construct knowledge and communicate their expertise through such artifacts, which can tell stories about the architect’s vision; the design iterations of the development team; working relationships among architects, clients and collaborators; and decisions made throughout the process of design and building. These artifacts are not yet records; it has not yet been determined that they have enduring value. But judgments take place everyday about what to keep from the negotiations of architectural practice. Making informed decisions about which artifacts to preserve requires understanding how they are made and what their roles are in everyday practice. I am operating from the position that architectural records are valuable sources of information that document the built (and unbuilt) environment and the social history of the communities in which they are created.
Drawing on my own ethnographic research, theory from science and technology studies, human-computer interaction, sociology, and computer supported collaborative work, and studies on the archival preservation of architectural records, I am working to develop a research methodology for investigating the complexity of architectural practice. By examining architectural practice as a socio-technical framework, it is possible to make a contribution to preservation literature that takes into account the changes in architecture. Close situated study of contemporary architectural practices can further illuminate the role of artifacts in the messy doing and making of architecture. The socio-technical nature of building culture means that the artifacts to be preserved are being created via complex arrangements of people and technologies. It is not merely the technological changes that need to be addressed in order to preserve architectural records, but the social environment in which they are created, if we are to document architectural practice.
Challenges to Institutional Born-Digital Institutional Archiving: The Case of an International Art Museum
Anthony Cocciolo, Pratt Institute
In the field of archival studies, there has been growth in the literature related to born-digital archiving. Notable informational and educational resources include the “AIMS Born-Digital Collections” report, SAA’s Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) curriculum and the BitCurator project. One commonality shared by these projects is an emphasis on donation-based collecting, where an archives or special collection needs to confront obsolete born-digital media or file formats included with a donation. Although this problem too confronts institutional archives, it is only a small facet of the entire born digital archiving challenge. This paper will explore the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving through the case study of a major international art museum.
Born-digital institutional digital archiving refers to the task of selecting, preserving, and providing access to the born-digital documentation created by an institution with historic and legal value. In this case study, the researcher studied the born-digital archiving practices of a major international art museum headquartered in New York from September 2013 through January 2014 with the goal of helping them plan for a born digital archives. The researcher studied the digital record keeping practices at the institution using three data sources:
Staff: The researcher interviewed staff in 26 departments with 81 individuals attending an interview session. During these interviews, he asked questions related to the locations and formats of electronic records with permanent value, which can be identified using the institution’s records retention schedule.
Network File Storage: The researcher used the tool TreeSize to study the types of files and the age of files stored in departmental network share drives.
Media in Archival Storage: The archives contains approximately 7,000 cubic feet of paper records, with some media such as floppy disks contained within these boxes. He searched processed and unprocessed collections using inventories and finding aids available.
From studying these three sources of born-digital records, the researcher identified a number of challenges to institutional born-digital archiving. A small selection of these challenges is outlined below:
Digital records are stored primarily on network file storage. Staff generally do not transfer electronic records to the archives because of lack of established procedures, workflows or infrastructures for doing so.
Because electronic records do not occupy valuable physical workspace, staff have little motivation to identify records for permanent retention based on the departmental records retention schedule.
Some departments with extensive collections of older records view these collections as “archives” of their department’s work, and exhibit a somewhat proprietary attachment to them. However, they are not sure if they can be accessed because they may originate in obsolete file formats.
Many departments have records in obsolete file formats (e.g., WordPerfect, Quark XPress). However, since these files are rarely if ever referenced and are not barriers to completing work, this issue is not a priority for any department.
Additional challenges related to unexpected file formats, removable media, email, social media, cloud services, web archives, and specialized database software will be discussed.
Records as Museum Artefacts: Archival Material in Museum Exhibition
Tamara Stefanac, University of Zadar
To what extent can the virtual replace the physical in a museum exhibition? What are the features that the original holds which can enchant the visitor? This research focuses on the visitor’s experience of displayed archival items. It examines the circumstances in which an archival item becomes a museum artefact. In commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, the Croatian Railway Museum is putting on an exhibition in virtual space on the Internet and its counterpart with the same archival items and museum artefacts, but in their original material form in the physical space of the museum. It is assumed that visitor reactions will vary and that with the ethnographical observation of reactions to the original of both types of visitor (virtual and physical) and the distributed questionnaires, a data set will emerge which could explain the strong and weak sides of both types of exhibitions. The planned exhibition will be built to incorporate different types of archival material that in the museum setting will take on characteristics usually associated with museum artefacts. The design of the virtual exhibition will include multilingual facets, multimedia and 3D modeling, and its counterpart in physical space will be presented in a traditional fashion behind glass, accompanied by a short description. The central hypothesis of this research is that original artefacts in physical space have some characteristics that are more appealing to the visitor and that the visitor achieves a deeper connection with displayed archival items rather than with their digitized forms presented through all the advantages of contemporary technology. The main goal of this research is to comprehend visitor reactions and more specifically to analyse and describe visitor rational and emotional reaction toward the same cultural artefact but displayed in different forms.
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Social Media | 501 SIS
Trustworthy Digital Photographs Accessed and Stored in Social Media Platforms
Jessica Bushey, University of British Columbia
The widespread use of social media platforms for storing and accessing digital photographs raises a number of questions regarding the roles and responsibilities for managing and preserving image collections held within the commercial online environment. Accepted by members of social media services as repositories, these online treasure-troves of visual culture are actually for-profit businesses that rely on cloud computing infrastructure to provide seemingly limitless storage and rapid provisioning 24/7. In recent years the archival and library community has published a number of reports aimed at providing guidance to archivists and librarians managing born-digital materials (e.g., images, documents and video) held on aging media (e.g., CDs and hard drives). These reports highlight the risks of bit rot (i.e., files deteriorating over time), obsolescence (i.e., hardware, software and physical media are no longer in use and cannot be accessed), and accidental alteration or deletion during management and preservation activities. This paper explores the next generation of digital photographs collections, which are not stored on physical media. Technological innovations that support the convergence of digital cameras into mobile (e.g. smartphones) and wearable (e.g., Google glass) devices with connectivity to social media platforms including Flickr and Facebook are introducing new methods for creating, sharing and storing digital photographs, which present new challenges for professional librarians and archivists. Firstly, uploading and downloading digital
This paper raises questions regarding roles and responsibilities for ensuring that digital photographs collections held within social media platforms remain accessible for the long term. Unlike traditional archival repositories that provide their archival materials with trustworthiness and give them the capacity to serve as evidence and continuing memory of social and cultural activities, social media platforms emphasize access over preservation and provide little information regarding their management of member accounts and associated content. As individuals and organizations continue to adopt photo-sharing sites to access and store their image collections, more information about these services is needed in order to guide decision making and safeguard ongoing access to image collections for future generations.
Exploratory Social Network Analysis of Archives and Social Media Use
Jenny Stevenson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
This paper will analyze a quantified data set of archival institutions in the Midwest region of the United States. The purpose of this study is to gain knowledge of the effects of implementing social media in areas of public service in order to identify and evaluate social media for future use in archives. The study will analyze the numbers to provide statistical evidence of what is happening “behind the scenes”, and what is the correlation to the content of the post and the number of responses. A pilot study was conducted that interviewed archivists and their social media use. The pilot study found that most archivists thought that certain social media posts were more popular than others. This study will analyze the statistical side to that question among others. The study uses a quantifiable data set of site usage, specifically from referrals from social media applications to archival collections. Multidimensional scaling will be employed to analyze the content of the posts themselves. A clustering of the like nouns from the social media posts will provide an insight into the material that archive institutions are posting to social media. Parallel coordinate analysis will be used to group similar posts into different categories.
#MPLP: Social Tagging in a Minimally Processed Digital Archives
Edward Benoit III, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The archival community faced a massive backlog problem during the past twenty years, to the extent that some archives house more unprocessed (and therefore inaccessible) collections than processed ones. In response, Greene and Meissner (2005) proposed a drastic shift in both archival theory and practice toward the concept of “More Product, Less Process” or MPLP, and minimal processing. I propose extending the MPLP concept to digital archives to increase the number of digitally accessible collections. This technique prioritizes the collection as a whole over individual items, specifically regarding metadata. The lack of sufficient metadata for each item limits user access, however incorporating participatory archives practice, specifically social tagging, could help build a robust lexicon for the collections.
Social tagging within digital collections without some measure of control could generate too many useless terms, thereby hindering access rather than increasing it. While some suggest digital librarians and archivists could simply approve/disapprove each tag, such a system requires too much oversight. I propose categorizing the users rather than the tags, specifically permitting users who self-identify as subject area experts (hereafter referred to as expert users) to tag the collections. The expert users provide more reliable tags, meeting the needs of institutions and increasing access to the collections. This paper explores the potential for controlling/mediating the supplemental metadata from user-generated tags through inclusion of only expert domain user generated tags. Furthermore, the paper investigates the following research questions and associated hypotheses:
RQ1: What are the similarities and differences between tags generated by expert and novices users in a minimally processed digital archive?
RQ2a: In what ways do tags generated by expert and/or novice users in a minimally processed collection correspond with metadata in a traditionally processed digital archive?
RQ2b: Does user knowledge affect the proportion of tags matching existing metadata?
H1: The proportion of tags matching existing metadata is affected by user’s domain knowledge.
RQ3a: In what ways do tags generated by expert and/or novice users in a minimally processed collection correspond with existing users’ search terms in a digital archive?
RQ3b: Does user knowledge affect the proportion of tags matching query terms?
H2: The proportion of terms matching users’ query log terms is affected by user’s domain knowledge.
The paper addresses the research questions and hypotheses through a mixed methods quasi-experimental two-group design focused on tag generation within a sample minimally processed digital archives. Sixty participants divided into two groups (novices and experts) based on assessed prior knowledge of the Civil Rights movement in Milwaukee (the sample collection topic) will each generate tags for 15 photographs. Additionally, the participants completed a pre- and post-questionnaire identifying prior knowledge, and assessing their experiences tagging during the project. The resulting tags were analyzed through open- coding and descriptive statistics. Additional analysis compares the generated tags with the metadata removed from the sample collection and query terms from the existing digital collection’s server logs.
12:30 – 2:00 | Lunch | Litchfield Towers
2:00 – 3:30 | Workshop: Digital Preservation & Access | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
David Kim, University of California, Los Angeles Matt Burton, University of Michigan
Amelia Acker, University of Pittsburgh
Preservation and access have long been the fundamental tenets of the archival profession in the U.S. While much discussion has been devoted to the reconsideration of traditional approaches in archival studies/science, too often abstract and all-encompassing claims about the benefits of “open access” and “open standards” have circumscribed/overdetermined the field’s response to the technological changes introduced by Web 2.0. The proverbial “openness” of the web obscures the complexities of intellectual and artifactual ownership and provenance, as well as crucial differences between use and access.
The discussions of these issues for this workshop will build on three examples of such community of practice: private or “closed” BitTorrent sites, corporate and state surveillance metadata, and open source software development. Despite the ongoing debates on its legality in relation to copyright, the BitTorrent sites offer useful examples of a highly effective means of establishing descriptive metadata standards, securing the continuum of the access and use of digital assets, and incentivizing user participation. The open source software community provides insight into mechanisms of decentralized provenance,
preservation, and access through version control systems and open-source distribution. In reaction to the constant collection and creation of metadata bycorporations and state surveillance programs, many individual users and social media technologists have created new ways of deleting, encrypting, and sharing messages with mobile ICTs that involve innovative practices of deleting, overwriting, or self-destructing digital records. Many of these new mobile ephemeral and encryption messaging apps support emerging appraisal and curation possibilities for archival researchers to engage, interrogate, and study.
The organizers will each give a short introduction to the topic, followed by group sessions around the themes of 1) redefining the “open” and the role of the institution/administrator as mediators of access, 2) strategizing for archival “cloud”: economy of abundance/scarcity and the availability of archival data, and 3) incentivizing meaningful user contribution. These discussions are designed to initiate conversations at the intersection of archival studies, software studies and infrastructure analysis. Depending on interest and the result of the workshop, the final outcome will be a collective bibliography and/or white paper in anticipation of collaborative research in the future.
2:00 – 3:30 | Paper Session: Archival Memory | 404 SIS
Archival Scholarship in the Nation’s Capital: Ernst Posner
Jane Zhang, Catholic University of America
On December 8, 1949, a small but distinguished group of guests gathered in the foyer of the Mullen Library of the Catholic University of America (CUA) located in the northeast of Washington DC to officially open the Archives of the Catholic University of America. Among the small group of the distinguished guests were Wayne Grover, then archivist of the United States, and Ernst Posner, then archivist and professor of American University.
Ernst Posner (1892-1980) spent most of his professional career as an archival educator, theorist, and advocate in the Washington DC area. He delivered a Good Friday 1938 lecture at the National Archives and returned in the following year to teach in American University. For more than twenty years (1939-1961) he taught archival administration at American University in cooperation with the National Archives. His professional career in Washington covered the tenures of the first four archivists of the United States and influenced the National Archives on important issues such as protection of European archives during World War II. He worked closely with the two archivists of the United States: Solon Buck (1941-1948) and Wayne Grover (1948-1965). After his retirement from American University in 1961, he continued to be active in the region until he returned to Europe in 1972.
Ernst Posner was an active professional figure in the Washington DC area, as shown in the opening ceremony of the CUA Archives. The majority of his archival research and resultant publications was accomplished during his three-decade long stint in the region, including the 16 essays he wrote between 1939 and 1960 (Archives and the Public Interest: Selected Essays by Ernst Posner, SAA 1967, 2006), the trips and research on State archives between 1961 and 1964 (American State Archives, 1964), and his research on ancient archives in Dumbarton Oaks between 1964 and 1970 (Archives in the Ancient World by Ernst Posner, 1972). The proposed research aims to trace the career path of Ernst Posner in the Washington DC area, and find out how the professional environment in the nation’s capital helped to leverage his remarkable contribution to American archival education and development of American theory and practice.
Adapting and Adjusting Western Record Keeping Systems: A Case of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Takahiro Sakaguchi, Kyoto University
This presentation will explore how modern Japan has introduced Western recordkeeping systems and methods. In terms of culture, law, administration, and technology, Japan has been mostly influenced by ancient China, modern Europe, and the post-WWII United States. These foreign systems and methodologies, however, tended to have been gradually adapted and adjusted in order to fit with Japan’s traditions and circumstances. The recordkeeping system is no exception.
After the restoration of imperial power in the 1860s, the Japanese government quickly began to adopt Western administrative systems. One of these was the European centralized registry system. Bureaus of archives were established in each ministry as the centralized repository of their records. Local governments were directed to submit an annual inventory of their administrative records to the Ministry of Interior. However, these directions were not effective, and so, after the 1880s, public records were kept in each bureau or local office in their own way.
In the 1920s, the American filing system of correspondence was introduced as a new scientific office management method, and some large companies and government bureaus tried to adopt it. Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent an official to the U.S. Department of State in order to study its centralized filing system and decimal classification of correspondence. In 1927, the Ministry implemented a similar system, in which the archives division was allowed to keep all the ministry’s records. Within a few years, however, the system was nearly abolished and the previous system reinstated because of transaction delays and officials’ dissatisfaction with the system. Decentralized filing was thus allowed, to some extent.
After World War II, when the American filing system was again introduced to occupied Japan, Japanese advocators did not favor the strict centralized management of records and recommended a decentralized system as a practical solution. They referred to the records management discipline and the concept of “centralized control under decentralized files,” which was just emerging in the United States.
The decentralized filing system became rather popular and underpinned Japan’s rapid economic growth in the 1960s. It was customary, however, that non-professional employees file their offices’ records along with their primary duties. Professional records managers and records centers, as the core components of records management, were rarely established. Each office developed and used a classification scheme that they found useful, instead of using uniform organization-wide schemes. Japanese people usually do not prefer to entrust the filing and management of their own records to external professionals. The quality of records management thus depends heavily on the capacity and understanding of ordinary employees.
In 2011, the Public Records Management Act was enacted and American records management systems are once again in the spotlight. In order to successfully operate and diffuse these systems, however, it will be necessary to study the context and conditions of recordkeeping, along with its relationship with Japanese organizational culture.
The Wicked Problem of Documenting Counterinsurgencies: A Study of US Advisor Province Reports from the Vietnam War
Eliot Wilczek, Simmons College
Drawing from my dissertation work, this research presentation looks at the relationship between how organizations understand and document wicked problems through a historical examination of monthly province reports written by US advisors during the Vietnam War. In their 1973 Policy Science article “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning,” Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber define wicked problems as societal problems that are complex, vitally important, ill defined, and “rely upon elusive political judgment for resolution.” Poverty, crime, and climate change are frequently considered types of wicked problems. Rittel and Webber point out that understanding and describing wicked problems is closely tied to conceptualizing solutions to the problems. How organizations document wicked problems is closely linked with what they perceive as meaningful sources of problems and solutions.
Understanding counterinsurgencies as wicked problems helps to illustrate how civil and military leaders form their conceptualization of an insurgency‚ and thus shape their prescription for how to defeat the insurgency, their understanding of the problem shapes what they measure and how they measure it. This presentation will look at the recordkeeping behavior factors that shaped the creation of US advisor monthly province reports during the Vietnam War using the frame of wicked problems. By looking at the documentation and reporting rules for these province reports and how these rules helped shape the reports‚ my work will contribute to an expanded understanding of how the records and their structures shaped understanding, discussion, and actions related to wicked problems.
2:00 – 3:30 | Paper Session: Active Information Management | 501 SIS
Reading Community Records through the Continuum
Heather Soyka, University of Pittsburgh
Used as a tool for learning, identity building, connecting, and knowledge transfer, the records of a community and its work can act as an infrastructure that brings people together. Seeing community recordkeeping this way emphasizes the contextual nature of records as they play a critical role in the strength, effectiveness, and longevity of a community. Records and recordkeeping can be viewed as factors that facilitate community memory and cohesion and enable members to share experiences and learn how to situate themselves in their community.
My dissertation will use the record creating behaviors of active military officers within a particular community of practice as a lens for exploring what this case can reveal about the records continuum as a model. This research paper, which draws upon my dissertation work, will discuss infrastructures of layered records that have multiple creators over time and space that serve to actively create, shape, and sustain the community.
Keep and Destroy: Responsibility in Records Management
Jane Gruning, University of Texas at Austin
This paper describes findings from a group ethnographic study of records managers. While the project as a whole investigated records managers in four different workplaces, this paper focuses in detail on workplace practices in one of those locations, a state Department of Children and Family Services.1 Employees at this location were charged with putting higher level records management decisions into practice, that is, they applied rules about which records should be kept and which should be destroyed. Due to the sensitive nature of the records and their clear importance for the lives of the people represented in them the records managers were very aware of the great responsibility that had been delegated to them. They recognized importance of their jobs and the potential effect that mistakes could have on the lives of the people represented in the records. However, there was a particular factor that seemed to alter the records managers’ perceptions of their own responsibility. This was the medium of the records. Paper records were seen as the archetypal record, and records managers were certain of their responsibility for those records. Records managers’ perceptions of their responsibility for records decreased, however, when the records were stored on non-‐paper media such as CD or VHS. This paper explores how these perceptions were reflected in work practices at the Department of Children and Family Services.
The Impact of Archival Legislation on Records Management in Commonwealth Countries
Elaine Goh, University of British Columbia
The proposed presentation is based on my ongoing dissertation research entitled “From the Trenches: An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Archival Legislation on Records Management in Commonwealth Countries”. My research is situated within the context of the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore since these three countries represent the head of the Commonwealth, the Americas and the Asia region respectively.
Archival legislation in Commonwealth countries tends to entrust the National Archives with the statutory mandate to manage and preserve government records. However, archival legislation in these countries has been observed to lack sufficient rigor to effectively manage and preserve records over the record’s entire lifecycle Consequently, archival researchers have described archival legislation as being “permissive” in nature for not imposing “statutory obligations” on the roles and responsibilities of records creators. For example, archival legislation in a number of Commonwealth countries does not provide a system to ensure that agencies comply with recordkeeping requirements. It also does not provide “statutory backing” to the National Archives to effectively monitor records management practices in the government. In addition, there are areas of inconsistencies and contradictions when archival legislation interacts with other statutes and regulations.
Most of the studies on legislation in the archival literature tend to either adopt the perspective of legislation as a focal point of enquiry or view legislation as a variable which influences the recordkeeping and record preservation process in organizations. For example, there is a corpus of literature on the implications of the freedom of legislation acts with regard to how organizations create, manage, dispose and provide access to their records. The archival science literature has also analysed other legislations such as the Crimes (Document Destruction) Act, Personal Information Act, Uniform Electronic Evidence law and the impact and implications of these legislations on the creation, management, use and preservation of records. In addition, there is an emerging body of literature which draws upon existing case laws and analyses the implications of such cases on the record creation and recordkeeping process.
However, there is a paucity of research conducted in archival science which addresses the issue of how archivists and records professionals interact with the law. Although these individuals are legal persons, they are also social beings with their own shared frames of understanding as well as their own sets of experiences, which affect the manner in which they interpret and internalise the archival legislation. The purpose of my doctoral dissertation work is to identify areas where the archival legislation and recordkeeping activities. It also aims to understand how the law is constituted within specific political, administrative contexts and in different archival systems.
The proposed presentation will cover the motivation for the study, the research questions, methodology as well as preliminary insights based on interviews with archivists and records professionals in the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore and an analysis of relevant pieces of legislation, policy directives and parliamentary debates from these three countries.
3:30 – 4:00 | Coffee Break | 3rd Floor SIS
4:00 – 5:30 | Poster Session | 3rd Floor SIS
See page 57 for poster titles and abstracts
6:00 – 9:00 | Mentoring Dinners | Various Locations
Sign-up sheets available at the AERI Information Desk, 3rd Floor SIS
Wednesday, July 16
8:30 – 9:00 | Continental Breakfast | Bellefield Hall Lobby
9:00 – 10:30 | Student Day Plenary: Behind the Academic Curtain: How to Find Success and Happiness with a PhD | Bellefield Hall Auditorium
Frank Furstenberg, University of Pennsylvania
More people than ever are going to graduate school to seek a PhD these days. When they get there, they discover a bewildering environment: a rapid immersion in their discipline, a keen competition for resources, and uncertain options for their future, whether inside or outside of academia. Life with a PhD can begin to resemble an unsolvable maze. Frank F. Furstenberg offers a clear and user-friendly map to this maze.
While the greatest anxieties for PhD candidates and postgrads are often centered on getting that tenure- track dream job, each stage of an academic career poses a series of distinctive problems. Furstenberg covers the entire trajectory of an academic life, including how to make use of a PhD outside of academia. From finding the right job to earning tenure, from managing teaching loads to conducting research, from working on committees to easing into retirement, he illuminates all the challenges and opportunities an academic can expect to encounter.
10:30 – 11:00 | Coffee Break | Bellefield Hall Lobby
11:00 – 12:30 | Workshop: Research…for Non-Researchers? | 3rd Floor Common Area SIS
Kelly Shaffer, University of Pittsburgh
Researchers often struggle to explain their work and to make those outside of their field of interest understand its importance. Whether chatting someone up in an elevator, writing a summary for a grant proposal, or presenting at an international conference, there is a need to be able to define your work for someone who may not share your field’s jargon and/or foundational knowledge. What if you’re entering the job market and giving a job talk for a “mixed crowd” – people from disciplines other than your own? What if you have to meet with the university’s Board of Trustees, who comprise leaders from many different professions and fields.
Kelly Shaffer, formerly an iSchool marketing staff member, will discuss how to think about the appropriate presentation of your research to others, how to phrase things so everyone can appreciate the value of your work, and how to impress those outside of your field of interest. Real-world examples and practical advice should help you to become proficient in the art of promoting your research.
11:00 – 12:30 | Workshop: Scholarly Publishing | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
John Barnett, Scholarly Communications Librarian, University of Pittsburgh
John Barnett will discuss publishing and open access services and tools available through the Office of Scholarly Communications and Publishing at the University of Pittsburgh, offering doctoral students insight into library resources that can support their research.
11:00 – 12:30 | International Archival Curricula, Pedagogic and Cultural Issues: An Interactive Moderated Session | 501 SIS
Moderator: Richard J. Cox, University of Pittsburgh Karen Anderson, Mid Sweden University
Jeannette Bastian, Simmons College
While there is general and fundamental agreement internationally about what archivists and records managers do, there is a great variety in what they learn, how they learn it and where the emphasis is placed. As online courses offer the enticing potential of international education, a comparative analysis of archives and records education across countries and programs may be a first step towards determining the feasibility of an international archival education program.
This interactive session continues a joint research project on the viability of international archives programs. In the first phase, the research initially analyzed the archives and records education programs in three universities from Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. through mapping program content against each other, identifying similarities and differences, likenesses and gaps. A brief questionnaire then queried archival educators from a spectrum of countries about their understanding of core content, their vision of international education and whether they considered that there is such a person as an international archivist. Specifically it asked how much space is needed in a program for jurisdiction- and culture-specific content?
In addition to presenting the findings of the first phase of the research, this presentation will encourage audience participation and discussion generally on topic of international archival education and specifically on the issues and implications surrounding culture-specific content arising from the initial research.
12:30 – 2:00 | Lunch | Litchfield Towers
2:00 – 3:30 | Workshop: Teaching and Faculty Development, Part 1 | 3rd Floor Common Area Lauren Herckis, University of Pittsburgh, Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education (CIDDE)
The first session of this two-part workshop will focus on professionalization, including the development of a teaching philosophy statement and a teaching portfolio. The workshop will include presented information and interactive activities in which participants work with one another in small groups.
2:00 – 3:30 | Workshop: Archival Access | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
Wendy Duff, University of Toronto Elizabeth Yakel, University of Michigan Anna Sexton, University College London
The SAA “Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies” identifies “Reference and Access” as Core Archival Knowledge. While the Guidelines delineates the basic content included under the rubric of Reference and Access educators must design courses that fit their program as well as their particular expertise. This workshop discusses three different approaches to teaching archival access courses. One course, taught at the University of Toronto, focuses on users and requires students complete a series of reference questions. One course, taught at the University of Michigan, takes a systems approach, while the final course from the University College of London places access services and use of archives within a broader legal, cultural and political context. The workshop will describe each course and discuss the pros and cons of the particular approach. Participants will be invited to share their experience teaching courses on access and to critique the three approaches.
2:00 – 3:30 | Paper Session: Cultural Heritage and Ethnography | 501 SIS
Valuing Our Scans: Assessing the Value and Impact of Digitizing Ethnographic Collections for Access
Ricardo Punzalan, University of Maryland
Over the last two decades, the libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) sector has made great strides at making ethnographic and anthropological collections available in digitized formats. Through digitization, cultural heritage institutions are finding creative ways to make these materials more discoverable and accessible. Access to ethnographic collections is increasingly mediated through digital avenues. Yet, despite these advances in digitization, no clear criteria have been proposed to evaluate the impact of providing online access to ethnographic collections. Moreover, there is scant understanding of the initial selection criteria used by heritage professionals and administrators when choosing collections and particular items for digitization. What are the goals of digitizing ethnographic collections? How are these goals set? And, more importantly, how is progress toward the goals assessed?
Digital collections have evolved to the point where “simply serving useful digital collections effectively to a known constituency is not sufficient” (NISO, 2007: 1). By supporting new forms of use and sharing, digitized collections fundamentally change the range and types of communities that can engage and be affected by the availability of these collections. While a plethora of general standards and guidelines for developing and maintaining quality digital collections are available, and are indeed useful in understanding technical, administrative, and policy aspects of digitization, these models do not attend to the impact of extant digital products and collections on various audiences and stakeholders (UKOLN, 2006; Kenny & Rieger, 2000; Arts and Humanities Data Service, 2008; and Schreibman, 2007). In addition, existing standards and metrics of the impact of digital resources tend to address broad swaths of information resources and hence may not be wholly appropriate for measuring the value of providing access to culturally sensitive content. We still lack relevant metrics for articulating the value of digitized and online ethnographic materials.
This paper highlights the approaches and perspectives employed in a collaborative project between the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Maryland College of Information Studies. The project aims to identify important considerations in assessing the value and impact of digitization of ethnographic collections. This paper presents preparatory work for this project and is organized in four parts. The first describes the profound changes happening within the LAM sector. In particular, I examine the effects brought about by the expanding role of digitization and online access as fundamental institutional functions of heritage repositories. The second provides an overview of the current literature on impact and assessment that address the issue of valuing digitized collections. Third, I outline our ongoing collaborative research project that examines cases of ethnographic digitization projects in seven cultural heritage institutions. Finally, I conclude by offering “five considerations” to frame efforts for assessing the impact of value of digitized ethnographic collections.
Digital Heritage Preservation to Confront Technology Challenges
Pat Galloway, University of Texas at Austin
In this paper I seek to address the problems of the technological challenges in the preservation of digital documents. As an answer I draw attention to the need for digital heritage preservation—that is, preservation of the objects, documentation, and knowledge that make up the digital infrastructure that has been conventionally presented as so difficult to preserve. I will argue that focus on preserving digitally- encoded objects without attention to preserving their context of creation implies a considerable degree of blindness to the fact that digital technology is a cultural phenomenon, too. If we assume that we can preserve other cultural manifestations, there is no reason why we cannot preserve digital technology, and thereby be enabled to preserve the objects that are supported by digital technology, as well, much as the preservation of ancient woodworking tools enables us to more fully understand the carvings made with them, or as the rediscovery of ancient paint formulations assists us in preserving works of art.
I will discuss three aspects of this suggestion. I question the thinking that considers manufactured objects as unworthy of preservation by discussing the culture of creation around engineered and manufactured objects. I question the refusal to recognize a literate tradition of technological documentation as a literature by exploring the rhetoric and poetics of technology documentation. I question the rejection of the tacit knowledge of computer engineers as less important than craft skills or oral tradition by discussing the craft performance of trained engineers. Recognition of digital heritage preservation as itself a cultural phenomenon, characterized by its own mode of production and trajectory of development, can make a significant difference in the preservation of digital documents—and especially of their contexts of origin— over time.
Cultural Capacity: Unpacking UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention
Tonia Sutherland, University of Pittsburgh
This paper builds on unexpected findings from dissertation research concerning the current state of resource management in the arts and cultural heritage sectors. Using Trinidad and Tobago, Newfoundland, and Belgium as case studies, this paper investigates how countries have leveraged the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) 2003 Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention for the documentation and preservation of local traditions. Working hand-in-hand with cultural heritage institutions such as archives, libraries and museums, UNESCO’s Convention has dramatically increased our collective knowledge about global cultures. At the same time, however, it has also produced tremendous data collection and curation problems that are unique and distinct from the collection and curation problems associated with tangible artifacts. As this project demonstrates, intangible culture complicates prevailing notions of information as evidence and has become an important area of research and innovation in a broad range of institutional contexts. The project investigates ongoing efforts by cultural resource managers, national governments, NGOs, ministries of culture and small arts organizations to solve the problem of intangible culture by using a complex mix of analog and digital techniques as well as embodied practices such as re-stagings, re-tellings and re-enactments. This project also contributes to current policy discussions about global information challenges that require new types of cross- disciplinary, cross-cultural collaboration.
3:30 – 4:00 | Coffee Break | 3rd Floor SIS
4:00 – 5:30 | Workshop: Teaching and Faculty Development, Part 2 | 3rd Floor Common Area Lauren Herckis University of Pittsburgh, Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education (CIDDE)
The second session of this two-part workshop will focus on the integration of research, teaching, and mentorship. The workshop will include presented information and interactive activities in which participants work with one another in small groups.
4:00 – 5:30 | Workshop: Information Culture: An Introduction | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
Gillian Oliver, Victoria University of Wellington
This workshop will contribute to the development of the archival studies curriculum by introducing the topic of information culture (that is, the values accorded to information, and attitudes towards it, specifically within organizational contexts). The objectives of the workshop are twofold. Firstly it will demonstrate the utility of the concept of information culture as the basis for the development and promotion of sound recordkeeping practices. Secondly it will stimulate reflection on the content and scope of education for records management, and explore the appropriateness of this in today’s highly flexible and dynamic working environment.
Traditional records management education largely focuses on systems, processes and techniques required to achieve recordkeeping outcomes. Generally this approach largely ignores or at best superficially acknowledges the fundamental cultural issues encountered when attempting to implement these systems, processes and techniques in workplaces. The information culture perspective takes people, the employees of the organisation, into account, and facilitates the understanding and diagnosis of the cultural dimensions of organizations as socially constructed entities.
The workshop will explore the components of a diagnostic model, the Information Culture Framework (ICF). The ICF is underpinned by three key ideas: recordkeeping informatics, soft systems methodology and rhetorical genre. The model distinguishes three levels of factors, which will be used as the basis to structure the workshop.
The first level, fundamental influences, includes consideration of the value accorded to records, information preferences and national or regional technological infrastructure, as well as language. Although the factors considered at this level are hard to change, identifying key features is essential in order to guide records management programme development.
The second ICF level addresses the knowledge, skills and expertise of staff members relating to recordkeeping requirements. This encompasses understanding of information related competencies, for example information and digital literacy, as well as traditional areas of focus such as awareness of specific records-related obligations.
The final ICF level considers the characteristics that are unique to a particular organization and probably the most amenable to change, namely corporate information technology governance and trust in existing organizational systems. This final layer highlights the need for practitioners to work collaboratively with cognate information professionals and for reflective practice.
The workshop presenters will introduce the concepts and explain the factors at each level of the ICF. Discussion will then be opened up to consider how effective our current curriculum is in enabling students to engage with the factors identified, and to investigate where development or change is necessary to equip students with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to apply the concept of information culture in their workplaces.
4:00 – 5:30 | Paper Session: Teaching Archives | 501 SIS
Disciplining Digital Curation? What it Means to be an Emerging Field
Patricia Condon, Simmons College
In this presentation, I will discuss the findings and conclusions of my dissertation research on the educational landscape and disciplinarity of the emerging area of digital curation.
Digital curation is maturing both within the information disciplines and becoming increasingly embedded in practice. As the creation, access, and use of digital information become ubiquitous, digital curation is increasingly recognized as a requirement for the lifecycle management and long- term preservation of data. While digital curation professionals and researchers develop fundamental best practices and procedures for the lifecycle management of data, the educational requirements, knowledge set, and skill base of digital curation professionals continues to be defined and refined. Although there is a visible growth in educational and training programs in digital curation, it is still unclear how and where the transmission of this knowledge set fits within higher education. The answer to this problem hinges on whether digital curation is emerging as a discipline in its own right, a specialization within the information disciplines, or as a set of interdisciplinary best practices employed by the fields that work with digital objects.
This dissertation research is designed to explore the educational landscape of digital curation and investigate whether digital curation is emerging as an independent discipline in its own right. The central research questions addressed in this study are: Is digital curation emerging as an independent discipline? Where does digital curation fit within the educational landscape?
This dissertation employs a qualitative multimethod research design. The methodologies used in this dissertation are content analysis of published literature in the area of digital curation and qualitative interviews with individuals engaged in the area of digital preservation and curation. The content analysis probes in-depth the International Journal of Digital Curation (2006-2013, full-run), selected conferences (2001-2013), and leading articles by citation counts retrieved from Scopus and Web of Science (2001- 2013). The interviews comprise 13 semi-structured, one-hour qualitative interviews with purposively selected participants who offer a particular expertise, insight, and perspective about this area. This study focuses on identifying themes that emerge from the academic discourse and scholarly communication, and understanding the level of consensus among educators, practitioners, and researchers about how they view this domain. Coding for the content analysis and interview transcripts employs both a standardized pre-defined coding instrument and an open, emergent coding framework using NVivo qualitative data analysis software.
Insight gained from this study is useful for stakeholders, including educators and practitioners, seeking to understand the current and future educational landscape and structure of knowledge transfer of digital curation practices, skills, and theories. This study is useful for stakeholders who seek to understand the position of digital curation among the information disciplines and within higher education. Additionally, this research contributes to the literature about the emergence of disciplines and furthers our understanding of the educational complexities that accompany that potential emergence.
The Innovation of Archival Teaching Method: Introducing Archival News into the Classroom
Xiaoyu Huang, Renmin University of China
The article focuses on the innovation of archival teaching method which the author introduces archival news into the classroom. Based on literature review, the author describes developing stages of archival news teaching, analyzes the reasons, achievements and social influence of this new method. Reasons of taking the new measure include limited features of the archival profession, weakness of traditional teaching and expectation for raising students’ social archival awareness and cultivating their comprehensive abilities. The innovation has got achievements on teaching objects, subjects, contents and atmosphere. For teaching objects, it stimulates students’ interests in professional learning, cultivates their comprehensive abilities, improves their social archival awareness and improves their information literacy. For teaching subjects, it improves the teacher’s teaching methods, learning ability, teaching level and scientific research ability. For teaching content, all-embracing and vivid archives news enriches the teaching content and manifests the frontier. For teaching atmosphere, it forms a highly participation, lively and interesting classroom atmosphere. Archival news teaching can make positive influence on the archival community by publishing, communicating and applying news research products. For example, professional journals can be the publishing platforms of archival news teaching results; professional meetings can be the communication platform of archival news teaching results; and there are maybe some application platforms for the archival news teaching results.
Exploring the Possibilities of Digital Storytelling in Archival Education
Janet Ceja, University of Arizona
This paper is an examination of digital storytelling as a tool for teaching archival advocacy. Digital storytelling is a participatory practice that helps build knowledge and skills in the digital production of multimodal presentations through first person narratives. Student learning is manifold as multiple literacies are exercised through research and the creation, gathering, evaluation, and use of formal and informal records to tell a story. In the archival classroom, the production of digital stories aimed at increasing the public’s understanding of the significance of archives encourages students to voice their personal and professional commitment to archival activism. This paper discusses how educators can use digital storytelling to motivate students to build consciousness and raise social awareness of the value of archives in their communities.
4:00 – 5:30 | Paper Session: Embedded Archival Theory | 403 SIS
The ”Middle Archive”, a New Concept in Swedish Archival Terminology
Ann-Sofie Klareld, Mid Sweden University
The governmental administration and its archives are closely bound together; a modern state could not function without records. Commonly, democratic nations organize control over their information resources by delegating power and mandates to a National Archives. But with the introduction of new techniques to produce records, management tends to change, and new constellations of actors may affect the recordkeeping.
The overarching goal of my dissertation is to study how power and mandates of public authorities’ archives are (re)organized and (re)negotiated within the framework of electronic information governance. Creating and defining concepts is one way to exercise power and allocate mandates. This paper therefore focuses on a new word in Swedish archival terminology: the “middle archive”. Previous efforts to assemble terms relevant to archivists and archival scholars include the ICA Multilingual Archival Terminology Database and the Society of American Archivists’ Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology.
The aim of this study is to increase the understanding of information governance within the context of e- government, by analyzing what has created the need for the term “middle archive” and examine if it is a sign of changes in the Swedish archival tradition.
Although the Swedish Archives Act states that records should be managed independent of format, there are differences between the management of paper and electronic records. New technological and organizational strategies are needed. A project was initiated by the National Archives in 2010 with the goal to create common specifications for the transfer of information between systems. One undertaking of the project has been to produce a list of concepts, which includes the term “middle archive”. What does the term mean, and why was it developed?
Since 1766, the Swedish constitution gives citizens free access to public records. The constitution is further supported by the Archives Act, which declares that a public authority’s archive consists of the records created as a result of its business. Consequently, in Sweden an archive can consist of both active records still used by the organization, and inactive records that are preserved. In other words Sweden has a holistic view of the archive. Governmental authorities are responsible for records management until the archive is transferred to the National Archives. A recently initiated authority, the State Service Center, is however suggested to provide an e-archive/”middle archive” as a service. This means that their solution will function as a repository for semi-current material until final transfer to the custody of the National Archives.
Since the Swedish language has no distinction between “record” and “archive”, one can claim that neither current records nor archival records exist in Sweden: here only records exist. Nevertheless, previous research indicates that archival practices changed significantly when digital records became the norm, and paper ones rarer. But the Archives Act has not been changed, so Sweden has not officially conformed to the nations where active records and non-active records are separated.
This study is based on a review of documentation created between 2010 and 2013.
Tracing a Record as Open Data
Morgan Currie, University of California, Los Angeles
Open government data websites are initiatives by governments to make their internal records available to the public in machine-readable, adaptable formats protected by open licenses. Open data policies from city to federal level represent a shift in how governments view the records they generate. Similar to the culture of emergent innovation found in some open-source software projects, open data proponents describe records as resources that can accrue in value through unexpected, innovative reuse by private companies, non-profits, and individuals.
This paper explores the relationship between concepts of records as formulated by archival theory, and recent theories about data found in information studies and science and technology studies. I do this first through an analysis of the rhetorical uses of these concepts in press releases and the popular press reports on open data. This research argues that as government records are given over to public consumption they are framed increasingly through the rhetoric of ‘big data’ or ‘open data’, in addition to traditional internal bureaucratic recordkeeping. Such a shift may challenge traditional archival notions, such as Margaret Hedstrom’s, that records have no intended external value beyond the processes of their production: “Records are not consciously produced information products that are intended for dissemination, even though their informational content may be valuable to inform the public or to enlighten research.” Open government data arguably challenges the classic understanding, as government agencies in many major cities around the U.S. have begun to produce statistical records with the understanding that some of these will be made available to the public through frequently updated APIs. Here, records are positioned both as part of internal bureaucratic processes and for the unknown value they might accrue through public use.
Second, I draw on archival theory to understand how data can be treated with archival concerns. The process of producing a record as open government data is a material process emerging through the actions of government agencies, as data are represented on public platforms, including mobile phones apps and the open semantic web. In particular, I focus on an analysis of the Socrata web application, the most widely used platform in U.S. for presenting government records in open data formats to the public. Drawing on archival theory about the record (Terry Eastwood and Geoffrey Yeo) and electronic records (Hedstrom), as well as on insights from the area of software studies (Matthew Fuller), this paper will ask how an archival understanding of records can inform an investigation into open government data projects, and particularly whether archival concerns can emerge at the level of interface.
CAIN: Digital Archiving and the Northern Irish “Troubles”
James King, University of Pittsburgh
Recent archival literature documents the profession’s struggle to interpret digital or online repositories within traditional archival terms. As Emily Monks-Leeson observed, “It is thus important for archivists to ask what is meant, in these websites or online contexts, by the use of the term archive.” My proposal will build on and expand this conversation by examining how a well-known digital archive functions within a network of other digital and analog memory projects archiving Northern Ireland’s Troubles.
Initiated in 1996, the University of Ulster’s CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet) has functioned as an expansive digital repository for nearly two decades. Dynamic and experimental in its content offerings, CAIN hosts three fundamental types of material: ‘first, material written and edited by members of the project team; second, articles contributed specifically for CAIN by external sources; and, third, material that has been previously published elsewhere.’ Recent additions have included visualizations of data related to the Troubles and digital versions of public records held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). Through collaborations with a variety of academic, governmental and community archival projects, CAIN provides new and exciting perspectives on how to archive the Troubles.
Drawing on literature pertaining to social justice, digital preservation, and archival theory, I propose to examine the role CAIN plays within Northern Ireland’s transition towards a post-conflict society. In particular, I hope to answer the following questions: How does digital archiving differ from traditional archival projects underway in Northern Ireland? Where does CAIN intersect with other archival and memory projects currently documenting the Troubles? And what role does digital archiving have within the overall national peace and reconciliation agenda in Northern Ireland? My methodology will rely in part on virtual ethnographic strategies such as e-mail interviewing and online data collection. In terms of broader implications, the paper will both further our understanding of the linkages between digital and traditional archives and reveal how digital archives play a unique and critical role within societies working towards a post-conflict transition.
6:00 – 8:00 | Student and Faculty Dinners
Student Dinner | Joe Mamma’s, 3716 Forbes Ave.
Faculty Dinner | Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, 100 Lytton Ave.
Thursday, July 17
8:30 – 9:00 | Continental Breakfast | Bellefield Hall Lobby
9:00 – 10:30 | Plenary: Think Like an Economist… Then What? | Bellefield Hall Auditorium
Ronald L. Larsen, University of Pittsburgh
During the past decade, we have witnessed radical and ongoing change as digital technologies continue to transform society. Our attempts to understand these changes and account for them in our educational institutions underlie the growth of iSchools from an initial core of 5 US-based universities a decade ago to the current international consortium of 55 universities. It also (at least partially) accounts for the emergence of AERI as a response to the challenges confronting the archival community and the education of future archivists. Archivists now face a broad spectrum of responsibilities, from those rooted in the historic traditions of analog archives, to the emerging challenges that accompany the explosive growth of digital resources. In this presentation, we will look at how these changes are playing out measurably, in terms of trends in position descriptions, projected demand, and institutional capacity. We will also consider some requirements and strategies for educating a workforce that is better prepared to address the emerging challenges and begin to carve out a more visible and proactive role for iSchools.
10:30 – 11:00 | Coffee Break | Bellefield Hall Lobby
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Tracking Our Bodies | 3rd Floor Common Area SIS
Social Ecologies of Mental Health Records
Lorrie Dong, University of Texas at Austin
My dissertation investigates the social impact of medical records as documents that are embedded in hospital work, and later, as cultural heritage artifacts in archival settings. The research site is currently an active, Reconstruction-era state mental institution in the American South. By examining the existing archival record collection and conducting interviews with staff members, record managers, archivists, and researchers, I am reconstructing the record ecology (i.e., the social world of documents) over several prominent eras of the hospital’s history. Analysis of the data involves an iterative process of open coding, situational mapping, and memos.
For my paper at AERI, I will present several narratives of how mental health records, as material objects, have mediated the daily medical and social treatment of patients and the interpersonal relationships of the institution’s staff and archival professionals. My analysis thus far illustrates that official materials for patient documentation were an ingrained and tacit part of hospital culture. The keeping of records and the types of information that was recorded at any given time period affected the relationships among the various individuals within the hospital network, often perpetuating hegemonic attitudes regarding race, gender, and mental faculties. As historical documents, the records continue to mediate relationships; therefore, as part of my research, I am determining the potential social impact of the records as material culture.
As an outcome of my dissertation, I intend to facilitate a better understanding of the changing social roles of mental institution records as they transition from serving as medical documents to archival ones. In my paper, I hope to share some of the ideas I am developing toward a theoretical framework and practice- based recommendations for heritage professionals on how to approach the management of ethically and legally sensitive documents. If health records can be seen as having multiple social contexts, then they can become the foundation for emergent narratives from both the record creators and the recorded subjects.
How Do We Shape the Archival Record? Exploring the Relationship Between Collection Development and Representation at the Wellcome Library in London
Anna Sexton, University College London
My PhD research is based in the Special Collections Department at the Wellcome Library in London and has involved undertaking Participatory Action Research with a marginalized stakeholder group to build a new digital archive collection based around lived experiences of recovery in mental health (http://mentalhealthrecovery.omeka.net). This paper will focus on the research I have undertaken to explore the development of the mental health recovery archive in relation to the institutional context in which it sits; where I have sought to explore the extent to which current practice, policy and attitudes within the Special Collections team sit in tension with both the participatory process that was adopted in the mental health recovery archive, and the end products that arose from that process which have a focus on personal expression predominantly held together through narrative.
This paper draws on interviews conducted with the current Special Collections team at the Wellcome Library (and other related members of staff) as well as an analysis of archival policy documents and documentation around procedures which taken together begin to reveal what constitutes normative archive practice in this particular local context and how this practice has shaped and continues to shape the archive collections. In particular the research reveals how the development of the archive collections is infused by an interplay between past and present; where the historic foundations and initial trajectories upon which the collections have been established still act as the inescapable anchor point from which the collection moves. The research also looks closely at the archival processes currently undertaken by the Special Collections team particularly in relation to collection development, interpretation and engagement and reveals how these processes are themselves shaped through the broader institutional and professional contexts in which the archive is embedded; as well as collective interpretations across the team in relation to archival aims and goals; and the attitudes (and degrees of influence) of individual archivists.
The paper will conclude with my opinions on the degree to which Special Collections at the Wellcome Library is in a position to embed participatory approaches into its processes and the degree to which it is able to broaden its working definitions of what constitutes an ‘archive’. Within this I will also seek to suggest how applicable my findings may or may not be to other contexts in which mainstream archive institutions are located. I will also seek to link my research into what Jacobsen et al (2013) have referred to as ‘an important though underdeveloped dialog’ in our field on ‘the role of archival functions in shaping the creation of memory’.
Invisible Bodies: Information Structures for Representing Gender and Gender Variance in Medical Record-keeping Systems
Lauren Wynholds, University of California, Los Angeles
This research paper focuses on questions of how information structures may produce and reinforce information disparities for marginalized communities. Information disparities are common in marginalized communities, but become particularly acute around medical information needs. There are well documented but extensive information voids surrounding transgender populations and health care. Most medical record
keeping systems do not have record keeping affordances to adequately represent transgender, transsexual or gender variant persons. As a result, the records are typically indiscernible and/or invisible in aggregate. Most public health data does not include any information on trans populations. Most insurance companies, HMOs and providers cannot discern from their records how many trans people they serve. This paper explores the data and information structures that can render trans bodies invisible within health information systems.
The paper explores major sites of information voids that intersect with the invisibility of transgender and gender variant populations in medical information systems. The research relies on mixed methods under a framework of a grounded theory derived approach known as Situational Analysis as described by Adele Clark. The case studies examine medical information systems in terms of their structures and design. The analysis relies on close readings of the information structures (database fields, blank patient intake forms, publicly available healthcare information datasets, categories used, etc.). The paper presents historical and contextual information about the institutions and projects that created the information systems and structures.
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Persistent Systems | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
More Product, More Process: Archival Implications of the BitCurator Project
Cal Lee, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
When acquiring born-digital materials, archivists often must extract digital materials from media in ways that reflect the rich metadata associated with records and ensure records’ integrity. They must also allow users to make sense of materials and understand their context, while preventing inadvertent disclosure of sensitive data. There are a variety of methods and strategies from the field of digital forensics that can aid this work. This paper discusses the development and application of digital forensics tools to improve the acquisition, management and access functions of archives. It reports on the BitCurator project, which is identifying current and desirable workflows of several archival institutions, as well as developing and testing tools to support the workflows. Incorporation of digital forensics methods also will be essential to the sustainability of archives as stewards of personally identifying information. There are a variety of potential changes within the archival profession that are associated with adopting digital forensics tools and practices.
Preservation by Design: Practice and Infrastructure in Open Source Software Development
Matt Burton, University of Michigan
In early September of 2013, Linus Torvalds the lead developer of the Linux Kernel posted an announcement on Google+ saying that his hard drive had just died. Beyond a simple reminder of the materiality of digital systems, the death of this particular hard drive is significant because it contained one of the most important pieces of software in the world. Linus however was not concerned, “this is not a huge disaster, in that git is distributed and even if I can’t make it come back, I lost perhaps three pull requests that I hadn’t pushed out yet…” Because the linux kernel is developed on top of a robust software development infrastructure, very little work was lost and the whole matter was more of an inconvenience than anything else. The revision control system built and used by Torvalds for managing the linux kernel is a system called “git,” which tracks the historical development of source code and automatically generate meaningful metadata. Such systems are built to be highly distributed performing a LOCKSS-like function by design. Revision control systems preserve a series of “commits” or units of code larger than the moment-to- moment save-file, but smaller than a software release. These units encapsulate a body of code, a new function, a bug fix, a period of work, locally meaningful to programmers participating in a shared development practice. The history of all commits, that is the history of a project’s development, are stored and saved within source code repositories. Furthermore, repositories can be pushed, pulled, cloned, forked, and merged, allowing for cooperative, yet temporally and spatially distributed, production. The repository’s “provenance” (I use this term loosely) is captured, along with metadata, by these tools used to negotiate distributed collaboration. This means, in effect, principles of good archival practice are built into the tools and best practices within the OSS community.
The Open Source Software (OSS) developer community is rich ecosystem of practices, discourses, formal and informal ontologies, and tools. Within this ecosystem exists robust infrastructures for the production, publication, distribution, and preservation of source code. By infrastructure I mean not only hardware and software of networks and developer tools, but also the social practices and institutions of Agile programming and the Apache foundation. Embedded within these infrastructures are tools, habits, and practices deeply relevant to archival research. The design of OSS infrastructure embed assumptions about how source code should be produced, released, and preserved. My paper investigates the infrastructures of OSS development to see how archival concepts like provenance, access, and preservation are understood within the OSS community and explore opportunities for a two-way dialog between the OSS and archives research communities.
Archival Systems Interoperability – Research Themes and Opportunities
Greg Rolan, Monash University
There are considerable interoperability challenges for archival systems that need to endure through time and space, providing consistent and complete evidential access to archive materials (Evans, McKemmish,
& Reed, 2009). Addressing the interoperability of archival systems within a socially, politically, disciplinary, and technically heterogeneous, divided and contested landscape has been identified as a societal grand challenge of our age (Gilliland & McKemmish, 2012).
From the earliest days of the World Wide Web, the potential for interoperable archival systems has been recognised (Sherratt, 1996). More recently, this concept has been refined and articulated as a distributed Archival Commons, comprising a federated network of archives with the generation and association of “links between objects using accepted Web standards”. Such a space would “allow users to engage with archival materials as they pursue their own needs regardless of repository or institution” (Anderson & Allen, 2009). This interoperability has been identified as a core principle that should be upheld by public domain archival information services (McCarthy & Evans, 2012).
Previous Masters-level research investigated a web-based API for archival system interoperability in the context of the Australian Series System, based upon a standard metadata schema of entities, relationships, and elements, together with an ontological resolution mechanism. This research exposed areas in which conceptual and representational recordkeeping and archival standards could be improved, particularly where they have been conceived for ensuring compliance at the expense of encouraging interoperability. From an organisational perspective, there are structural and budgetary barriers to progressing interoperability initiatives for community access.
Moving forward, a wide-ranging investigation of archival systems interoperability, from theoretical, ontological, and practical perspectives, can be framed as a number of research questions – some of which are:
What standard metadata schema is necessary and sufficient to support community access to archives? How should the reference model API be evolved over time?
How should relationships and events be modelled in an interoperable manner? How is the provenance of assertions (e.g. about relationships and events) from difference sources to be represented and managed?
How should traceability and reproducibility be achieved in the meshing of archival data from multiple sources?
How should authentication and authorisation be modelled and managed within interoperable archival systems, particularly with respect to access rights that may change over space and time.
What are the implications for born-digital records for archival systems interoperability? What does mediated co-creation of records mean for identity and evidentiality.
What are the requirements for read/write interoperability in order to support participative archives activities – for example, tagging, annotation, and contribution of archive material?
What user interfaces will support appropriate mental models for community discovery and access of archival records? Similarly, what interfaces would be useful for archive metadata diagnostics?
What is the path (or paths) that an institution should follow to fully participate in federated archives in terms of achieving technical, organisational, and social levels of interoperability?
This paper will identify and expand on these questions and discuss research approaches that may be taken to begin to address them.
11:00 – 12:30 | Paper Session: Social Justice I | 501 SIS
Stories for Hope – Rwanda: A Psychological – Archival Collaboration to Promote Cultural Continuity through Intergenerational Dialogue
David Wallace, University of Michigan
Can archives heal, and can therapeutic dialogues archived and made public contribute to cultural continuity in a post-genocide environment? This paper examines these questions by evaluating the archival component of a international psychology-archives collaboration: Stories for Hope – Rwanda (SFH). SFH is an inter-generational dialogue and collective narrative project between youth and elder pairs in post- genocide Rwanda. It draws on the collective narrative model from psychology and the community and participatory models from archives. SFH facilitates, records, archives, and disseminates Kinyarwanda audio and written English transcripts of permissioned dialogues between youths and their chosen elders. Over 100 dialogues gave been conducted. SFH is designed to assist Rwanda’s coming-of-age women and men to deal psychologically with the consequences of massive violence, loss, and trauma in the contexts of inter-generational silences and cultural discontinuities created by the 1994 Rwanda genocide against the Tutsi. Participants (elder – youth pairs) were audio-recorded and given CD copies of their session. They were also given the choice to deposit their dialogues in Rwanda’s National Archives, and make them available publically on the project’s website (http://storiesforhope.org/). A qualitative evaluation of participants 6-18 months post-intervention strongly suggests that the archival component of therapeutic dialogues significantly contributed to both the motivation for participation, and the extent of participants’ healings, with implications for the use of this model in other post-conflict and post-genocide communities where silences reign over useful conversations about the past.
Community Archives and Social Justice: Further Testing and Assessment of the Duff et. al. Archival Approach to Social Justice Impact Framework
Lauren Kilgour, University of Pittsburgh
During the past decade, there has been an increasing interest in “social justice” in the archival community. As part of this larger movement, Wendy Duff, Andrew Flinn, David Wallace, and Karen Suurtamm recently published an article entitled “Social Justice Impacts of Archives: A Preliminary Investigation” which explores archivesʼ potential to have a social justice impact. Ultimately this article offers an initial framework for evaluating the social justice impact and archives, and asks that members of the archival community begin to further test their model, and related models, to more deeply understand the relationship between archives and social justice. Consequently, this paper aims to further engage in and add to the growing body of literature looking at the relationship between archives and social justice through further testing Duff et. al.ʼs framework. Currently, the framework developed by Duff et. al. has only been applied to mainstream archives. With this in mind, this paper shares findings from further applications of the Duff et. al. framework to learn more about its effectiveness and how it might be improved through applying it to a new area of study: community archives.
As such this paper primarily seeks to engage with the following question: how effective is the Duff et. al. framework at assessing the social justice impact of community archives, and what can be learned from this applying the framework to this archival realm? As I argue, answering this question first requires me to provide an overview of the history and development of community archives, and the history of the relationship between social justice, archives and community archives. With this background information in place, I then describe and explain the Duff et. al. framework for assessing the social justice impact of archives, and share case studies of the application of that framework to two Toronto-based community archives. I will then discuss key preliminary observations individually produced by those case studies, and will discuss and analyze those observations through comparing them. With this discussion in place, this paper will conclude with thoughts larger thoughts about how the framework can be further developed and refined in the future, as well as offering suggestions for future areas of research in the context of the relationship between community archives, social justice, and impact studies.
Thai Social Values and Attitudes and Their Impacts on Archival Access and Use
Naya Sucha-xaya, University College London
My PhD research project, “A Comparative Study of Archival Access and Use in the UK, France and Thailand,” examines the relationship between archives and society by investigating how these three societies value archives and how this impacts their archival access and use. The analysis of this link is based on functionalist perspectives in sociology, as well as social psychology, and archival science.
A cross-cultural perspective is taken because this approach will enable a clearer view of one culture compared to others. The chosen countries are Thailand and two European countries, the UK and France, because Thailand’s recordkeeping system was influenced by these two western countries in the nineteenth century, when the country had to be modernised under pressure of imperialism. However, the modernised recordkeeping system failed after that period as the social norms to support such a system did not take root in Thai society.
Some fundamental values in Thai society hinder use of and access to archives. For example, relationships have traditionally not been primarily about truth or evidence, which is an important value of archives. Another example is attitudes on archives. In Thai epistemology, knowledge can be acquired from believing teachers rather than finding the truth on one’s own. This affects the use of archives in Thai society compared to the Western world, where finding the truth is most important in acquiring knowledge.
Attitudes are another element affecting the evaluation of archives. They are formed by information and experiences relating to the archives. Unlike in the West, popular perceptions of archives in Thailand are focus on the historical role of archives – recording of events in the past. The different understanding causes problems in accession since officers in governmental departments tend not to consider that their records will probably be archives in the future.
Informed by interviews with archivists, users and archives educators, this ongoing research is reaching some preliminary conclusions. Firstly, the incompatibility of values of archives in a western sense and Thai values and attitudes does not necessarily mean that Thai recordkeeping will always have to be an underdeveloped sector. Conversely, archives can fulfill some lacking values in Thai society while the country is getting more integrated into the globalised world of the information age. Secondly, this socio-archival relationship can help to develop strategies in archival practices. That is, archives must go out and connect to the outside world. It is worth considering how archivists should act or adapt themselves, what users have to learn, and how archives educators can support these roles. For example, the archives of Buddhadasa, a renowned Thai Buddhist monk, were collected and have become a successful religious archives institution in Thailand and a popular destination for Bangkokians, as it does not limit its potential to research purposes but uses archival content in activities, events and social media. Thirdly, examining the link between archives and society has revealed the position of archives in society and how archives education can connect scholarship with other disciplines and address its own position in the academic world.
11:00 – 12:30 | EASP Session: Applying to PhD Programs | 502 SIS
Kelvin White, University of Oklahoma
This workshop provides an overview of applying to Ph.D. programs. Topics covered include the planning the application process, seeking strong letters of recommendation, choosing the right program, funding, and the differences between applying to Master’s and Ph.D. programs.
12:30 – 2:00 | Lunch | Litchfield Towers
2:00 – 3:30 | Panel: Is Data Curation or Digital Stewardship the Future of Archival Science? |
3rd Floor Common Area SIS
Sheila Corrall, University of Pittsburgh Alison Langmead, University of Pittsburgh Liz Lyon, University of Pittsburgh
This panel will begin with three, brief, provocative presentations on the history of archival education in the United States, the types of roles we envisage for information professionals in the future, particularly with regard to the shift from support service to professional partner and embedded expert, and the research data aspects of digital curation and stewardship with focus on the new data roles emerging and new educational opportunities. Each panelist will conclude with questions and discussion points, designed to start a general conversation about the past, present and future of archival education.
2:00 – 3:30 | Panel: Audiovisual Archiving | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS Moderator: Snowden Becker, University of California, Los Angeles Karen Gracy, Kent State
Andy Uhrich, Indiana University
Marijke de Vlack, Universiteit van Amsterdam Dan Streible, New York University
Jared Case, George Eastman House
Despite the existence of well-established, innovative, and influential graduate programs, research, and faculty that specialize in audiovisual archiving and preservation, audiovisual materials are still mostly marginalized in our discussions about the past, present, and future of archival studies. Knowledge of these records’ critical affordances, preservation needs, and archival value is nevertheless a crucial component of the 21st century archivists’ skill set.
This roundtable discussion brings together students, faculty, and administrators from the major audiovisual archiving and preservation programs, as well as faculty from more traditional IS departments/schools who teach in these specialized areas, to address with the AERI community the place of audiovisual preservation within archival studies as a whole. Each speaker will briefly address their programs’ approaches to and personal experiences with audiovisual preservation education, followed by a moderated discussion of key issues, including:
How specialized degree and certificate programs (such as those at UCLA, NYU, George Eastman House/University of Rochester, Ryerson University, and the University of Amsterdam) relate, structurally and philosophically, to archival studies and other disciplines
Who is teaching and learning in these programs/courses
Where and how specialized degree program graduates are applying their education, and how traditional LIS/archives program graduates are making use of specialized A/V preservation training available to them
Who is pursuing doctoral-level work in this area; which programs are emerging as leaders in a subfield where the MA or MS has historically been the terminal degree; and where these new PhDs may be headed as junior faculty
How audiovisual materials and preservation topics can be effectively integrated into existing curricula in archival studies
2:00 – 3:30 | Paper Session: Social Justice II | 501 SIS
Dictatorship Memories and Archives in Brazil
Luciana Heymann, Fundação Getulio Vargas
My research project aims at placing the debate on access issues regarding the “dictatorship archives” in Brazil (1964-1985) in the wider discussions about memory rights.
In 2009, thanks to the then Minister and now President of Brazil, Dilma Roussef, herself a former political prisoner in the military regime, a Reference Center on Political Struggles in Brazil (1964-1985) was created, and its name received a significant complement: Revealed Memories. The Center aims not only at making the documents of the dictatorship period that are under the custody of the National Archive of Brazil (the project manager) accessible, but to establish a network of public and private institutions, and people who are willing to share information and archives.
In my research project, the Reference Center served as a starting point for an investigation on social representations and power dynamics taking archives as subject. The two papers I have presented at AERI, in 2011 and 2012, focused on recent policies seeking to grant access to those archives and to make visible the victims memories. My intention, in 2014, is to present a continuation of my research, exploring the production of the “dictatorship memory” out of the State project. In this sense, the goal of my presentation will be the discussion of initiatives developed by civil society sectors in order to build archives, get memories registered and develop pedagogical projects.
Rights in Records: Appraisal
Sue McKemmish, Monash University
In Australia, the Trust and Technology Project found that acknowledgement by archival institutions of Indigenous rights of self-determination and facilitation of the exercise of cultural rights as human rights, linked to the principle of free, prior and informed consent, involves moving beyond the current focus on individual archival access rights to involve individuals and communities in decisions about appraisal, access and management of records relating to them, whatever their source (McKemmish et al, 2011).
A Royal Commission is currently investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Australia, focusing on systemic issues. In the recordkeeping and archival domain, substantial and sustainable reform is urgently needed to confront and address systemic issues that have resulted in past and current recordkeeping and archival services failing to meet the identity, memory, accountability, advocacy and redress needs of our most vulnerable communities and adding to their trauma. The communities include Stolen Generations, Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants, Forced Adoptions, Care Leavers, and Children in Care.
A National Summit is planned for early 2015 on The Archive and the Rights of the Child. A possible outcome of the Summit is an extended suite of rights for the subjects of records and others involved in the events and actions documented them .In “Acknowledging, Respecting, Enfranchising, Liberating and Protecting”, Anne Gilliland proposes a set of rights relating to what she terms “participative description” (2014). In this presentation I explore a complementary set of appraisal rights with reference to human rights and social justice agendas.
3:45 – 6:00 | Callery Lecture and Reception | Frick Fine Arts Building Auditorium
The inaugural lecture in the Bernadette Callery Archives Lecture Series will be held in conjunction with the Archives Educational Research Institute (AERI) being held at the University of Pittsburgh; the lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture series honors the memory of Dr. Bernadette Callery who was a member of the iSchool faculty and who taught in the Archives specialization in the Library and Information Science program. Previous to joining the faculty, Dr. Callery was the Museum Librarian at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Before her death, Dr. Callery thoughtfully established this lecture, which was funded through a generous bequest.
Follow the Bodies, Follow the Names: One Art Historian’s Search Through the Archival Remains of the Civil War Dead
Kirk Savage, University of Pittsburgh
During the Civil War the problem of the “unknown dead” became a national crisis. On both sides of the conflict, hundreds of thousands of soldiers who died on the battlefield or in makeshift hospitals or in prison camps ended up as lost bodies, in unidentified graves or no grave at all. Bodies became severed from their names; or, in archival terms, the material object (the corpse) lost its metadata (the headboards or gravestones that physically linked the name of the dead to the bodily remains).
The crisis of the unknown dead was, therefore, an archival crisis, which resulted in the proliferation of new archives devoted to the common soldier. These included cenotaphs (empty tombs) and public monuments inscribed with names of the dead, on a scale never before seen. In this paper I will reflect on the process of following bodies and names through these myriad archives, a process greatly enhanced by digital tools. On an individual level the process looks much like family genealogy, but on a collective level the process speaks to cultural shifts linked to evolving concepts of family, nation, and sacrifice.
6:00 | Dinner on your own
Friday, July 18
7:30 – 3:00 | Field Trips
Busses will pick up participants in front of SIS as follows:
7:30 am | Fallingwater
9:00 am | Preservation Technologies
9:00 am | Archives Service Center
Built between 1936 and 1939, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Fallingwater was the vacation home of the Kaufmann family, owners of the Kaufmann’s Department Store. The AERI trip participants will be bussed to and from the grounds, tour the home, have lunch at the site, and attend a discussion with the Director of Preservation and Curator of Education. The first 30 AERI participants to sign-up for the Fallingwater trip during the registration process will be included in the arrangements and asked to contribute $20 to offset the trip costs. Participants will leave in the morning and return to Pittsburgh in the late afternoon. Learn more about the Fallingwater trip (and even watch the “Fallingwater-cam”) at www.fallingwater.org. If you
want to read about one of America’s most famous domestic dwellings, check out Franklin Toker, Fallingwater Rising: Frank Lloyd Wright, E.J. Kaufmann, and America’s Most Extraordinary House (Knopf, 2005). There is a fabulous museum shop at the site.
Preservation Technologies, located outside of Pittsburgh in nearby Cranberry, has been a leader in preservation services for libraries, archives, and museums since its opening in 1992. AERI participants who attend this trip will tour the facilities and new MediaPreserve Laboratory. Lunch and bussing will be provided. Participants will leave in the morning and return to Pittsburgh in the early afternoon. Learn more about Preservation Technologies, MediaPreserve, and the company’s patented mass deacidification process at www.ptlp.com.
The Archives Service Center is home to the University of Pittsburgh’s archives and collections that document the history of Western Pennsylvania. University of Pittsburgh transportation will be provided to the participants of this morning excursion. Learn more about the Archives Service Center at www.library.pitt.edu/archives-service-center.
4:00 – 5:00 | EASP Session: EASP Wrap-Up-Session | 3rd Floor Quiet Study SIS
Kelvin White, University of Oklahoma
EASP participants will provide feedback on their experiences at AERI 2014 and discuss future career goals.
AERI 2014 Poster Session Abstracts
The Mobile Forensic Imagination: Ephemeral Messaging Apps, Telephony Metadata, and Born- Networked Records
Amelia Acker, University of Pittsburgh
The ubiquity of text messaging, SMS gateways to the Internet, and the increased use of smartphones has led to what market forecasters have called the next “killer app” in mobile ICTs based upon a new market of messaging applications (“apps”) that allow users to send enhanced messages, including video, picture, and text in a variety of new ways with mobile devices. Many of these new messaging platforms use next generation mobile networks and Internet Protocol to transmit messages, encrypt them, and auto-delete messages shortly after recipients have received them.
The history and development of SMS standards and protocols have had great impact on how data is transmitted and collected across third and fourth generation mobile networks today, including how text messages have emerged as digital records (Caswell, 2009), how texts and their metadata have been enrolled in state surveillance programs, and as a new digital format that influences personal and business communication practices (Acker, 2014). Text messaging applications also shape the ways we create, curate, and appraise our personal digital collections. While many social scientists have studied how text messaging influences how we speak, think, and create relationships, little work has examined how texting practice relates to the rise of ephemeral messaging apps which rely upon smartphone operating systems and next generation mobile networks for transmission, encryption, and deletion. How are ephemeral messaging apps different from native texting clients on mobile phones and how do they incentivize use through automatic deletion, encryption, or obfuscation? How should archivists engage with these emerging appraisal practices supported by new messaging apps?
This poster will present an overview of how ephemeral messaging apps work and are popularly understood, and then show how each have influenced a new kind of mobile forensic imaginary, including new appraisal practices with mobile records. First, I present an overview of some recent cases in the United States where policy and legislation have expanded and enrolled text messages and mobile telephony metadata as electronic communications and digital evidence. Second, I examine the emergence of a mobile forensic imagination with the rise of mobile messaging apps that tout obfuscation by deletion or expiration after being received. For example, Backchat (2014), Confide (2014), Snapchat (2013) and Wickr (2013) play with popular perceptions of the security, authenticity, ephemerality, and longevity of messages created with mobile devices.
The promise of ephemerality and complete deletion with new messaging apps points to the emergence of a mobile forensic imaginary built upon popular understandings (or misunderstandings) of mobile telephony metadata, born- networked records, and personal digital archives created with mobile ICTs. How does this imaginary motivate use and appraisal practices? This paper explores the emerging role that telephony metadata and the mobile forensic imagination is playing in personal digital archives created with mobile devices. By examining the development of text messages as born-networked records, the rise of ephemeral messaging apps, and their subsequent mobile telephony metadata, the current study aims to present some of the implications and broad potential that the analysis of infrastructure, metadata, and born-networked records have for archival researchers.
The Hassan II Prize for Manuscripts and Archival Documents: the Tension Between Archival Disclosure and National Heritage in Morocco
Sumayya Ahmed, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
In his attempt to understand what befell Moroccan private libraries and private manuscript collections during the nineteenth century, Binbine (2004) attributes the “miserable” condition which many came to be in to purposeful hiding and concealment during the colonial period. As he explained, when they “perceived the readiness of foreigners from Europe to take control of the country, Moroccans sought refuge in the concealment of [their] books.” In their efforts to protect valuable manuscripts, they “built walls around collections or buried books deep within the Earth.”
In the post-independence enthusiasm to build up and take stock of the national manuscript collection, the Moroccan Ministry of Cultural Affairs instituted the Hassan II Prize for Manuscripts and Archival Documents. The prize, begun in 1969 was intended to locate and preserve, originally through microfilm, and currently with digitization, important caches of manuscripts and archival records found only within private collections. The Hassan II Prize intends to create a public archive of privately held manuscripts, valorizing them as part of national heritage, while negotiating manuscript holder reluctance and fears regarding disclosure of their collections.
The number of manuscripts in private hands in Morocco is believed to far outnumber the quantity that is currently held by public libraries and archives. For many owners of manuscripts and archival documents, archival silence “is a forceful strategy of resistance”(Carter 2006, p.227) that keeps their (often family-inheritance) property beyond the grasp of an authoritarian monarchy which has been known to confiscate collections in the name of “national patrimony.”
The specific kind of archival documents desired by Hassan II prize officials are official, royal documents, records related to Islamic jurisprudence, or non-binding religious legal opinions (fatwas) which are termed “official” papers; and private correspondences, memoirs, chronological histories, poetry, songs, studies, essays, etc, which are termed “private” documents. The manuscript owners who are awarded the Hassan II Prize receive monetary compensation, but are free to do with the manuscript what they want. They are requested however, to allow a digital copy of their document to be made that will reside at the National Library (Laroui, 1990).
National libraries and archives, while taking it upon themselves to be custodians of national heritage, cannot reflect all aspects of a society (Carter, 2006). M’kadem and Nieuwenhuysen (2010) note that the importance of private collections in Morocco stems from the alternative and local versions of history they present. In addition, private collectors of manuscripts, who often hold both physical and intellectual authority over the manuscripts, can provide provenance information couched in family and local history.
In the poster, we explore how the Hassan II Prize for Manuscript and Archival Documents, as a government- sponsored initiative, uses a “top-down custodial” model to respond to the guardedness of owners of private archival collections in Morocco. As an example of a successful negotiation of access without the perceived loss of possession, evaluation of the prize can inform future archival discovery projects not only in Morocco, but in other locales where disclosure of community archival documents is a sensitive issue.
Curation in the Wild: Developing Digital Preservation Assessment Models for Use in Community Documentary Projects
Heather Barnes, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
This poster will outline and present preliminary research in support of ongoing dissertation work, currently at the literature review and pre-comprehensive exams phase.
My presentation will describe the scope and extent of dissertation research that aims to explore the intersection between community media activism and digital preservation. Organizations that work with digital storytelling methods in order to conduct advocacy generate a diverse collection of digital artifacts. At the same time, advocacy organizations are mission-focused. While they may be interested in documenting their work, they may lack the formal infrastructure, funding, and staff to manage digital records to the same standards as institutional or large- scale corporate archives. How does organizational history and identity persist in the current digital environment, and what are the strategies by which organizations develop a sense of their history and identity via digital media? How does their media creation in terms of advocacy, record keeping, and marketing (among other functions) intersect with the need to collect, organize, and preserve their digital records? Best practices for digital preservation are being developed by and (largely) for formal library and archives contexts, with a few programs that aim to support entry-level engagement in digital preservation. A key component of my dissertation will examine the fundamental activities in which community organizations must engage in order to mitigate risks to their digital records.
The other component of my dissertation will focus on the challenges and possibilities of collaborative partnerships across archives and community organizations. Using a series of case studies, the research will examine working models for integrating the digital records of activist organizations within formal archival settings, and models for outreach on the part of archivists and libraries. For example, the Witness program “partners with networks, coalitions and locally based nongovernmental organizations (NGO) that have made a commitment to use video to advance human rights.” What are some of the challenges to these kinds of organizations in terms of collecting documentary materials? Working with community advocacy organizations requires a knowledge of and sensitivity to the need for organizations to protect both their mission and their members. Engagement with community groups for the purposes of supporting their archival strategies could be considered a type of archival activism or outreach. What types of models for engagement, activism, and outreach exist for archivists and librarians interested in extending services beyond the borders of their home institutions? How can participatory models strengthen the ability of community organizations to provide effective stewardship of their digital records?
Footprints Through Time and Space: Re-imagining Description in the Archival Multiverse Through a Rich Community Case Study
Belinda Battley, Monash University
Collective memory is an essential part of community identity. Records help communities construct and preserve their collective memory, supporting community values and survival, and protecting their rights. To maintain control over collective memory, people in those communities need control over records creation, capture, access, use, sharing and interpretation.The research I intend to carry out for my PhD addresses the fit between Australasian methods of archival description and collective memory construction in communities. The Australian series system is said to support description of records in multiple contexts, to allow multiple views of records, to allow for more accurate description of born-digital records, and for more open linking to allow for searching across multiple collections, making archives more discoverable for the wider community. However, often users are not finding these benefits, and my study will investigate whether the problem is with the design of the series system or the way it has been implemented.
I plan to use a collaborative, mixed-methods approach, and involve two different communities, to which I belong – the Auckland University Tramping Club (AUTC) and the archival profession in Australasia. With fellow AUTC members I will build a model of the way records contribute to collective memory creation and maintenance in the AUTC, and with subject matter experts in the archival profession I will build a model of the way they envisage the concepts of the Australian series system. I will then compare the two models to analyse their fit. Finally, I will test both models against real-world implementations of the Australian series system to determine how well either model is met by existing descriptive practice.
The poster will summarise the background to the research and show a simple model of the intended research design.
Artists in the Archive: an Artist-in-Residence Program at the City of Portland Archives & Records Center
Kathy Carbone, University of California, Los Angeles
The poster I would like to present at AERI is a view into an artist-in-residence program currently underway in a city archive. I am in the middle of an 18-month long UCLA IRB approved study of the Artist-In-Residence program at the Portland Archives & Records Center (PARC) in Portland, Oregon. In this study I am examining the following things:
(1) why and how the City of Portland Archives and Records Center initiated an artist-in-residence program; (2) the nature of this particular collaboration between a city archive, its archivists, the artists, and a local arts organization;
how the artists conceptualize the archive and create works of art based on Portland’s historical records; and (4) whether or not the artists’ work in the archive is providing new knowledge to the archival field about artists as an archives user group and about the nature of collaborative projects between artists, archivists, archives, and arts organizations.
The study involves the following data gathering activities: (1) conducting two sets of group and individual interviews with the archivists, artists, and the public art manager from Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC); (2) observing the artists and archivists working together in the archive; (3) observing a number of the artists’ performances and exhibitions; and, (4) gathering all of the documentation generated from or about this Artist-in- Residence program.
As of February 21, 2014, the following data gathering activities have been completed: (1) the first set of individual and group interviews; and, (2) an observation session of the artists and archivists working together in the archive. The gathering of documentation about and from the residency is in continual process throughout the duration of the residency.
From the data gathered and analyzed thus far the poster will consist of text and images that suggest and provide answers to the questions I am pursuing, outlined above. Additionally, it will explain how the artists are engaging with archival records to reveal and respond to silences in the archive. Through artistic interventions with the historical record, these artists are using myriad strategies to counter and imbue official records with unrepresented voices, giving voice and representation to those silenced in the archive. In doing so, the artists and their work challenge and subvert the officialdom of the archive.
Perceptions of Records in Australian Government Agencies in the Age of Social Media: A Theoretical Framework
Christopher Colwell, University of Technology, Sydney
This research aims to explore other disciplinary perspectives on the nature of the record in an age of social media with a view to promoting discussion and consideration of a wider and more interdisciplinary perspective on the nature of the record and assisting practitioners and archival authorities to extend their understanding of the socially constructed nature of records in the Australian public sector in an age of social media. The definitions of records with which record management practitioners work do not recognise the socially constructed nature of records. There are two predominant views of organisational records – that their primary purposes are to serve as information resources or as evidence of business activity. (Bak 2010; Cox 2001; Kennedy & Schauder 1998; Sampson 2002). These views have and continue to have implications for the management of records within an organisation. Yeo (2007) notes that emphasising either evidence or information is limiting as it undervalues the complexity of records and that a more representational view of records is multi-discilpinary and “embraces a wide spectrum of understanding”. However, limited research has taken place into users perceptions of records (Lemieux 2001).
The same word may be interpreted differently by different people with varied backgrounds and words and concepts such as data, information, knowledge, records and document are often confused with one another. These differences in definition can reflect existing disciplinary schools of thought (Yusof & Chell 1999) or particular regulatory recordkeeping contexts. The current post-positivist trend in the archival and records management literature has only just begun to explore the nature of records as socially constructed entities (Trace, 2002). Organisational culture, information technology and information culture have an impact on the perceptions of individuals towards records (Oliver 2010). A records user in an organisation may also be the record creator, so the use and utility of records is also tightly linked to the individual and their work practices (Borglund & Oberg 2008). Record formats are also changing considerably and a user’s conceptualisation of the record may still be linked to format (Lemieux 2001). They may be unable to see ephemeral digital information, such as blog post or a tweet, as a record.
The theoretical framework for this study, to be outlined in this poster, is informed by a variety of theoretical perspectives from practice theory including the Records Continuum model (Upward 1996, Upward 1997), Giddens’ (1984) structuration theory, and Foucauldian discourse analysis (Rainbow, 1984) as well as sense-making theory (Dervin, 1992) and sensemaking in organisations (Weik, 1995).
No Title Provided
Elizabeth Daniels, Monash University and University of Melbourne
This poster sets out my proposed PhD research area; I hope to conduct an exploratory style study into the potential role of Archives and records on ‘Othering’, and if this relationship has identifiable patterns that can be influenced and managed.
The concept of ‘othering’ is not new, and has been discussed and theorised about extensively in the literature surveyed by key authors in this field including Tzvetan Todorov (1984), Anthony Pagden, Simone De Beauvoir, Edward Said, and Michael Foucault to name a few. My research aims to compare different instances of ‘Othering’ to see if any patterns or commonalities can be gleaned. Many authors such as Kiernan have written volumes comparing different forms of genocide, while theorists such as Hannah Arendt have explored the capacity of human beings to perpetuate such atrocities (Arendt, 1951). The events and behaviours studied by Arendt, Kiernan, and
others could be seen as potential (although not completely) consequences of ‘othering’, I am interested in the process of ‘othering’ itself. How it works, how ‘othered’ identities are created, enforced, and communicated. In particular the role archival institutions, archives and records play in the process of ‘othering’.
Any research that explores the concept of ‘othering’ also needs to address theories of the self, I will draw heavily on the existing literature concerning the self, exploring theorists such as George Herbert Mead. Of particular focus will be the role of social interaction in creating the self, and most of all the role of the generalised other in the creation of the self.
Prominent Australian scholars in the archival field have long recognised the social power that archival institutions, archives and records hold (McKemmish et al, 2005), and this has led to the development of radically new ways of managing and accessing records, examples include the find and connect project at Melbourne University in partnership with the Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs, Visualisations based on actor network theory and the Country Lines project at Monash University. Archival theory has also developed to represent the fluid and multifaceted nature of meaning and interpretation. Key examples include the development of Continuum theory (McKemmish et al, 2005) which could be indispensable in better understanding particular social phenomena.
This research will aim to analyse and explore whether these new theoretical and technological developments in the archival realm can play a role in undermining ‘othered’ identities. The key theory here is Hegel’s dialectic (Redding, 2010) in which the self always exists as becoming. As archives traditionally capture snapshots they freeze identities into beings, rather than becomings. I aim to explore whether ‘othering’ often serves to do the same thing, meaning people do not feel the need to engage with ‘others’ on a human level as they already believe they know the totality of that person through stereotypes and other constructs.
Data Documentation and Research Use in Museum Contexts
Morgan Daniels, University of Michigan
The data deluge and recent advances in data collection and analysis techniques have lead to an increasing interest in the use of datasets by researchers who did not create them (referred to as data reuse). Recent studies explore the difficulties of making data accessible for reuse as well as the problems of understanding datasets created by others (Akmon et al. 2011, Zimmerman 2008). One important data provider is largely overlooked from these discussions: the museum. As collectors and curators of objects recording cultural and natural history, museums have long made data accessible to researchers. Opportunities for including museum data in larger datasets are only beginning to emerge, as consortia develop tools for cross-collection access to museum data. Little is known, however, about the needs of researchers for the successful reuse of museum data and how well these data represent the underlying collections. This study examines the practices of botanists and archaeologists in their use of collections from two museums. Based on 45 semi-structured interviews with botanists, archaeologists, and museum staff, this work uncovers the information needs of research users, how researchers perceive the relationship between museum objects and their descriptions in the research process, and the impact of museum practices for digital representation on reuse.
My findings highlight the importance of contextual information concerning research design behind data (object) collection as a key component of successful reuse. For example, the context in which an object was found is of paramount importance in both judging the quality of data and in making use of it for research, whether that is information about the stratigraphic layer in which an archaeological object was discovered or a description of the habitat of a botanical specimen. Both groups of researchers have experienced changing standards and technologies for recording contextual information, making some older data less useful for analysis. Archaeologists need to understand the provenience of an object, linking it to a particular location. Objects lacking that level of
detail can still be useful, but must be approached with different research questions. Likewise, botanists studying the geographic range in which a particular species is found require a degree of certainty about location identification to judge whether a specimen may be included or removed from their dataset. The findings of this study have important implications for the representation of museum objects for research audiences. They are also relevant to researchers studying data reuse, museum staff creating representation systems, and data curators working with data from multiple, heterogeneous sources.
Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe: Examining the USDocs LOCKSS Network as a Socio-Technical System
Rebecca Frank, University of Michigan
The LOCKSS program is “an open-source, library-led digital preservation system built on the principle that ‘lots of copies keep stuff safe’” (“What is LOCKSS?,” 2013). A LOCKSS network is a system in which multiple institutions agree to maintain copies of digital content. LOCKSS is modeled on the system used by libraries to preserve physical content through duplication of resources across multiple distributed organizations, “the phrase ‘distributed digital preservation federations’ is being used increasingly to describe cooperatives of geographically-dispersed institutions who are banding together to form solutions to the digital preservation problem” (McDonald & Walters, 2010, p. 1).
This poster will report on results from a study examining the LOCKSS-USDocs program as a second order technical system (Van der Vleuten, 2004). In particular, the LOCKSS-USDocs program is a network that is built upon the pre-existing infrastructure of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The primary focus of this study is the relationship between LOCKSS, the FDLP, and the libraries that serve as members of the network.
This study seeks to address the following research questions:
How did the USDocs network develop??
What were the roles of the individual organizations that belong to the USDocs network?
How do members of the USDocs network describe the relationship between the LOCKSS network and the Federal Depository Library program?
Does the development of the USDocs network fit van der Vleuten’s theory of about the development of second order technical systems?
Were the member institutions able to leverage existing path dependencies when creating/joining the USDocs network? If yes, how?
Does the work of individuals within the USDocs network map to scales of infrastructure (enacting technology and organizing work)? If yes, how?
This study uses a theoretical framework that draws upon risk and disaster studies literature, as well as literature addressing infrastructure development and the development and adoption of standards. I examine LOCKSS as a risk mitigation program that relies upon large groups of actors adopting standards in order to achieve their individual and common goals of data preservation and organizational continuity of service. I am particularly interested in exploring the ways in which the LOCKSS program leverages existing systems (research libraries and the FDLP) in order to offset risk associated with the preservation of digital government documents.
Data collection for this project is currently underway and includes semi-structured interviews with members of the LOCKSS-USDocs network. This poster will report on the results of those interviews.
Photograph, Organize, Display: How Individuals are Preserving a Record of Street Art
Ann Graf, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ephemeral public art, referred to by several names such as temporary art, urban art, street art, graffiti, reverse graffiti, sticker art, and variations of community art, public art, ecological or earth art and other forms of art which are impermanent in intention or understanding, are considered by many as important parts of the cultural record that deserve to be preserved. While the artists themselves are often using photography and video to record their own works, the majority of such collection and preservation online is being done by amateur or community archivists, civilians, so to speak, with a love and appreciation for the medium.
Not a call for the archives community to take up this task, but rather an acknowledgement of what is already taking place, I am proposing an examination of the work of what I will here term “collectors” as they use photography to document, organize, preserve and present such public and temporary artworks from the streets on websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Flickr streams and the like across the Internet. Questions that arise from consideration of this research include: What exactly is being captured? How are the images being described (such as artists’ names, locations, dates, etc.)? What terminology is being used to describe this type of artwork, the process used to collect and photograph the artwork, and any differentiating language used for the various types of artwork collected? Why is this kind of naïve archiving taking place in the first place – why do people photograph these works, collect, organize, describe, display and maintain such collections online – and how might the value of these types of art be explained or justified?
Methods proposed for examining and hopefully answering these questions include textual analysis of any information provided by the collectors, such as that found on “about” pages of blogs or introductions to collections, analysis of descriptive text attached to individual images (including any tags), and any textual information featured in the images themselves, again such as artists’ names or commentary, and determination of the categorization of types of information gathered, such as titles, sizes of original work, locations, styles, materials and forms. The various online platforms used may also be found to influence how and what is being described, based on limitations placed on text, tags, image parameters or varying abilities to search posts, apply links to outside information or gather like posts into collections or sets.
I envision this type of research leading to a deeper understanding of the practices of those who create individual community archives and supporting the development of intuitive online tools that may serve to educate amateur collectors on important aspects of the archive process, encouraging adherence to archival standards.
Out of the Archival Closet: Opening the Historical Record to Black Lesbian Lives
Dalena Hunter, University of California, Los Angeles
This dissertation explores how archivists acquire and describe materials created by and about black lesbians at three sites: June Mazer Lesbian Archives, Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Mobile Homecoming Project. Deploying a theoretical framework based upon Critical Race Theory and black feminist theory the dissertation focuses upon the ways archivists approach silences in the archival record due to microaggressions, dissemblance, and intersectional identity. This project attempts to understand the relationship between archival processing practices, institutional recordkeeping culture, and the historical record using case studies and grounded theory methodology. This dissertation contributes to postmodern archival scholarship and ethnic and gender studies scholarship that explores the connection between historical narratives and recordkeeping cultures.
No Title Provided
Noah Lenstra, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Trends from both within and without public librarianship create new opportunities for libraries to serve the public’s interest in archives and heritage information. Based on a workshop series in Illinois, this article presents exploratory findings on: a) existing public library heritage and archival services and b) how cyberorganizing can enhance these services. Public libraries offer heterogeneous heritage and archival services in local contexts composed of multiple actors and institutions. Improving this service area involves organizing within libraries, across local institutions, and among individuals with diverse interests. Part of this organizational work involves digital technologies, but people are the core element in organizing everyday heritage services. This research focuses on public libraries outside of major metropolitan areas.
Sustaining a Community of Records: One Family’s Odyssey
Jennifer Marshall, University of South Carolina
My father was an avid genealogist. For over forty years he researched our family’s history. Innumerable hours of my childhood were passed in the local history rooms of public libraries, courthouses, and cemeteries of western Pennsylvania. I shared his interest in family history and I enjoyed constructing possible stories based on his discoveries, but I never developed – and therefore never fully understood – his passion for genealogical research. Preserving our family’s history – as represented in the records he amassed and created over the years – was never far from his mind. It was this aspect of his genealogical endeavors that I could fully appreciate, as the documentation resulting from his research became ever more fascinating to me during my archival studies.
It was always understood that I would be the keeper of the family archive one day, and that day arrived much sooner than anticipated when my father passed away unexpectedly at the age of sixty-one in summer 2012. Though it was a difficult time and there were more immediate concerns to be addressed than the family archive, I was confident in my abilities to preserve it. In the months to come, however, I would realize that I had become far more than the keeper of the family’s archive. Without anticipating it, I had become the center of a community of records, for over the years my father had forged connections and developed relationships with relatives far and near, distant and not-so-distant. Following a period of condolences from many of these relations, I found that I was receiving – much sooner than expected – requests for information related to family history, and more uncomfortably, several requests for the entire archive as well.
I had been prepared to take on the preservation of my father’s genealogical archive and had anticipated the need to plan for its accessibility in some form and at some point. The recognition that there was a community of records surrounding this archive, however, and that by virtue of the fact that I was the archive’s keeper I now had the responsibility of cultivating this community (or letting it wither), was a daunting realization. Though the situation I found myself in was deeply personal, in the past two years it has served as the catalyst for my exploration of questions related to how genealogists seek, use, and preserve records; how genealogists develop and function as communities of records; and the relationship of personal and community archives. It is these issues that this paper will examine.
“This isn’t archive footage anymore”: Recent Representations of Records in Motion Pictures
Eleanor Mattern, University of Pittsburgh Lindsay Mattock, University of Pittsburgh
Archivists who followed the Best Picture Nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards would have noticed there was a recurring character – records. The winning film, Argo depicts the rescue of six American hostages during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Lincoln, praised for Daniel Day Lewis’s portrayal of the Sixteenth President, presents a look at Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency during the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. The most controversial of the three, Zero Dark Thirty chronicles the events leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden. While archivists and archival repositories are absent from these three films, records and records creation play a central role in the development of each of the stories.
This poster will analyze the depiction of records and records creation in these three films through the use of the framework proposed by Barbara Craig and James O’Toole in their analysis of representations of records in art. Craig and O’Toole argue that the way in which records are depicted can lead to an understanding of how the creators and audiences of art understand records, suggesting that these representations may further our understanding of the “cultural penetration of archives.” The authors suggest that in art, records are depicted in a number of ways: as props, as representations of specific documents, as the central subject, and as information objects that are created and used. We add to Craig and O’Toole’s framework additional categories: the integration of original documentation into the films themselves, and the use of source material that has an affective influence on the mise-en-scene. More than merely representing documentation that may exist, as moving images these films make use of archival footage of the depicted events.
Software Preservation Network: Ensuring Long-term Access to Proprietary File Formats
Jessica Meyerson, University of Texas at Austin
Proprietary file formats are an obstacle to access for born-digital electronic record within cultural repositories across the country. Though contemporary third-party tools have broadened access to some proprietary formats, many file formats cannot be accessed (and, thus, appraised) without using the original, proprietary software application that created them. To address this issue, the author proposes a model for a Software Preservation Network, which expands on existing preservation network models like LOCKSS. The author will report on work in this area and local software round-up/recycling activities. Key questions to consider include: What legal challenges and opportunities face a software preservation network? What types of metadata should archivists use to document software use requirements, and what are the appropriate parameters for network membership? How can we systematically identify orphaned software? How do we begin a dialogue between cultural heritage repositories and the software industry?
Curriculum Development for Archives and Records Management in Thailand: The Challenge of an Emerging Profession
Waraporn Poolsatitiwat, University of Liverpool
The curriculum currently taught in universities in Thailand needs to be developed to “meet the characteristics of the new global professional and the new knowledge economy” (Pimpa 2011, p.275). It is necessary to propose a model for curriculum development suitable for preparing new professionals in an evolving area of professional practice like archives and records management. However, to success in this aim, the following factors have to be considered.
All curricula taught in Thai tertiary institutions must be developed to comply with the Thai Qualification Framework for Higher Education (TQF) by 2013 (Ministry of Education, 2009). It is a major factor that may shape the model of curriculum to be used in most universities in Thailand after 2013.
The model for understanding professional learning proposed by Reid, Dahlgren, Petocz, and Dahlgren (2011) identified the crucial elements for transferring from graduate to working professional. Their concepts of (1) knowledge for professional, (2) learning for work, (3) professional identity, and (4) professional pedagogies are highly relevant in designing study programmes for professional education. To date, they have not been applied in archives and records management; nor have they been considered in the context of Thailand and East Asia.
The problems of archival education have raised significant questions for consideration, particularly how to
develop archival science as a discipline, (2) improve the quality of the professional archivist, and (3) enhance recognition of the profession itself and of the professional archivist.
Since the model for curriculum development for preparing new archivists has not been proposed in Thailand. This proposed research will represent an original case study of curriculum development for a new, emerging profession.
To propose a model of curriculum designing for preparing archivists in Thailand to:
Meet international standards and contemporary need
Fit with Thai environment and culture
Comply with Thai educational system
Achieve market need Research Questions:
What are the significant factors contributing to the design of new curriculum higher education in Thailand?
What are the elements within a curriculum necessary for preparing a future professional?
What is the most suitable model of curriculum development for preparing professional archivists in Thailand?
Since main data could be collected from both human and documents regarding policy, regulation, and curriculum, the method used in this study would be a mix method including literature based and in depth interview
Archival Diaspora, Custodial Order, and the Legacies of Chaos: Responsibility in Managing Dispersed and Dismantled Photograph Collections
Gina Rappaport, University of Maryland
It is an archival premise that the value of information in an archival collection relies on the maintenance of that collection’s integrity; we observe Respect des Fonds. But while most archivists tacitly agree that archival processes must align with archival principles, in practice this is widely interpreted, particularly in the processing of photograph collections and it is usual for archival theory to be applied differently to textual and visual materials. With respect to photographs, two approaches are common: one emphasizes the medium’s physicality and bases arrangement and description largely on format, while the other emphasizes the individual photograph, basing arrangement and description largely on image content. Both approaches downplay the photograph’s nature as an archival record and its status as a component of a collection; a part of a larger whole. Further complicating these approaches to photographs is the frequency of dismantled and dispersed collections.
Whether due to an archival “diaspora,” where dispersal took place through the agency of the creating body or its inheritors, or to the dismantling of a collection due to inexpert custodianship, the resulting loss of information can be significant. Because of use protocols and reading room rules, it can be difficult if not impossible for researchers to make the kinds of connections between collections and their components that archivists can, thus the question: what are the responsibilities of the archivist in restoring–actually or virtually, physically and/or intellectually— dispersed collections, and noting for the researcher related or separated materials held at other institutions? When Respect des Fonds tells us we must preserve the information inherent in the context of the collection and its creation, as well as the information imparted by the order of and relationships between the collection components, how does this principle – practically as well as conceptually – extend to photographs?
This poster will provide several examples of dispersed and dismantled photograph collections and the kinds of information that can be revealed only through reunifying collections or explaining the collection’s diaspora. These examples will highlight the impact on research if such collections are left untreated, as well as if dispersal is addressed. Outlined will be some of the ways in which archival principles may be overlooked or misapplied with respect to photograph collections, and the archivist’s role in presenting and representing dispersed and dismantled photograph collections.
What Personal Information Management and Archiving Strategies Do Individuals Use that Compare to the DCC Curation Model?
Vanessa Reyes, Simmons College
The digital era has redefined and reshaped the nature, scope, and use of personal information. Individuals are continuously collecting and storing an increasing volume of digital personal information in convenient portable devices. This qualitative research study investigated how academic users manage and archive their personal digital information. Specific focus was placed on learning how graduates of different disciplines managed their personal digital information. Twelve graduate students from diverse disciplines were interviewed, provided with a background questionnaire, and then placed into focus groups that matched their personal information management methods. One focus group discussion was guided by questions that made reference to a model the author created in a previous study of how graduate students of diverse disciplines manage their personal digital photographs; while the other group’s discussion focused on questions that made reference to the Digital Curation Centre’s DCC lifecycle model.
The majority of students in the present study reported that they primarily manage their personal digital information on their laptop computers and cellular phones. On average students responded that they typically produce over 100 files per month. At least one student from each graduate program claimed to store most of their personal digital information on online cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Drop Box. Overall students related more to a model that was previously created based on results from a previous study rather than to the DCC Model. These results have provided great insight into the process of managing digital information and may reveal a need for the reexamination of best practices and accepted standards.
Who’s Afraid of File Format Obsolescence? Evaluating File Format Endangerment Levels and Factors for the Creation of a File Format Endangerment Index
Heather Ryan, University of Denver
Much digital preservation research has been built on the assumption that file format obsolescence poses a great risk to the continued access of digital content. In an endeavor to address this risk, a number of researchers created lists of factors that could be used to assess risks associated with digital file formats. This research examines these assumptions about file format obsolescence and file format evaluation factors. This research culminates in the creation and initial test of a file format endangerment index comprised of a simplified set of file format endangerment factors.
This study examines file format risk not as file format obsolescence, but under the new lens of “file format endangerment,” or the probability that information stored in a particular file format will not be interpretable or renderable in human accessible means within a certain timeframe. Using the Delphi method in two separate studies, I collected expert opinion on file format endangerment levels of 50 test file formats, and collected expert opinion on the relevance of 21 factors as causes of file format endangerment.
Over half of the expert participants who were asked to rate the test file formats indicated that they did not have enough experience with seven of the original 50 test file formats to rate them. These formats were removed from subsequent questionnaires, leaving a total of 43 test file formats. Experts expressed the belief that information encoded in the rated file formats will remain accessible in the next 11-20 years, and, overall, digital information encoded in these formats will be accessible for 20 years or more. Furthermore, expert participants who were asked to rate the factors rated only 14 of the original 21 factors as at least somewhat relevant as a cause of file format endangerment.
I conducted a third study with a special reviewer who I asked to collect information on 14 factors for each of the 43 test file formats, and then use this information to inform his rating of the endangerment level of the file format. After performing this task, I asked the special rater to rate each of the 14 factors for relevance as a cause of file format endangerment.
I applied the results of the two Delphi studies and the special rater study to the creation and testing of a file format endangerment index. The findings showed that only three of the dozens of file format evaluation factors discussed in the literature exceeded an emergent threshold level as causes of file format endangerment: the availability of rendering software, the availability of specifications, and the presence of support through communities and third party developers. I conducted an initial test of this index by reviewing the information collected by the special rater for these three factors and calculating file format endangerment scores for the 43 test file formats, based on the information provided. I compared these scores with the file format endangerment rating scores collected in the file format rating Delphi exercise, which revealed similar results, demonstrating external validity of the measure.
Providing Remote-yet-Restricted Access to Born-Digital Electronic Records
Seth Shaw, Clayton State University
This poster will document the creation and setup of a system to provide access to electronic records at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library using remotely accessible virtual machines via an online reservation system. The poster will explain the technical infrastructure and workflows necessary for setup and use.
Personal Digital Archiving: Strategies, Challenges, and Affecting Factors from a Quantitative Perspective
Donghee Sinn, University of Albany (State University of New York)
This poster reports the status of current personal digital archiving in terms of archiving practices, challenges, and other technological and personal factors. Many studies examining personal digital archiving practices have taken qualitative approaches to explore perceptions and behaviors. There has not been much research with quantitative methods to find the general patterns of identified behaviors. Based on the findings from existing qualitative studies, this study created an online survey to quantify personal digital archiving practices and related phenomena. The survey was employed to investigate to what extent people show a certain behavior or feel a certain challenge when archiving personal digital content and if there were clear associations among the factors surrounding personal digital archiving practices that previous qualitative studies have identified and assumed. Some of the findings of this study regarding specific personal digital archiving practices were in accordance with existing studies. However, the associations between digital archiving challenges and archiving practices were not observed statistically significantly as assumed in previous studies. General technology efficacy and the awareness of the importance of personal records appeared to influence personal archiving practices.
The Left-behind Children Digital Archive(LCDA): Conception and Potential Benefits
Biyong Tan, Shandong University
China’s rapid urbanization has led to a rising number of left-behind children, who have one or both parents working away from home, leaving them to be taken care of by grandparents or other relatives. The number of such children in China’s rural areas has exceeded 60 million, according to a report published by All-China Women’s Federation in May 10, 2013. The left-behind children issue has been a serious social problem, and if left unsolved, which will pose a great threat to China’s future.
We can search many items from google with keyword “left-behind children” in different government and non- government websites in China and other countries, however, these digital records are very scattered and might be disappeared sooner or later. Thus, I decide to put forward a digital archives proposal – Left-behind Children Digital Archives (LCDA), which might preserve all kinds of archival materials about the left-behind children from government institutions, non-government organizations and individuals. LCDA would record these children’s daily lives and provide us useful educational materials and common memory from generation to generation.
No Title Provided
Narissa Timbery, Monash University
The poster that I would like to design will present my research in its early stages. My experience with archives both professionally and personally has centred on Indigenous Australian records.
My PhD research ‘Visualising Country: Archiving Virtual 3D Models’ is attached to the Monash Country Lines Archive (MCLA) which assists Indigenous Australian communities in the animation of stories that combine their history, knowledge, poetry, songs, performance and language to provide material for intergenerational knowledge sharing and learning. This is achieved through the use of world-class 3D animation to assist the sharing and preservation of knowledge and stories.
Throughout the MCLA project both the MCLA team and community have expressed concern about the preservation and future access of the material not used in the final animation.
The aim of my research is to design and develop an online interactive archive to enable Indigenous communities to access and use 3D models of Australian landscapes (terrains, trees and vertebrate fauna) to create virtual cultural worlds that: 1. Is intergenerational in its appeal and usability 2. Easily customised to individual community needs 3. Upholds archival principles both Archival Science and Indigenous community.
While the research is specifically aimed at the access and use of the 3D models, dependent on the findings of what the partner communities want from the archive, the system may need to be flexible enough to include other material associated with the partnerships.
I hope to examine what are the specific cultural, social, functional and technical requirements for an online archive of virtual 3D models of Australian terrain, fauna and flora. In doing so, explore the concept of a sustainable living archive that reflects community protocols and archival principles through the use of innovative information technologies.
My research will be adopting systems development as a research method within a participatory action research framework. Systems Development as a research method in an action research framework allows me to explore the interface between theoretical concepts and their practical realisation, including the interplay with community needs and information technology capabilities.
I hope to demonstrate my passion for archives and commitment to respectful research.
No Title Provided
Ayoung Yoon, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
This poster will mainly describe my dissertation proposal, which includes purpose of the study, significance of the study, important concepts employed, and research design, with some preliminary findings.
Data reuse is the term referring to the secondary use of data – that is, not for its original purpose, but for studying new problems. Sharing and reusing data might not yet be the norm in every discipline, but it has become a major concern in many scientific disciplines. Assessing data and finding trustworthy data is an important part of the data reuse process, as data plays a vital role in research and is the basis of all scientific research. Influenced by emerging discussion around data reuse and in light of the importance of trust in data reuse, this dissertation study explores why and how data reusers trust data that are generated by other researchers, using content analysis and in-depth, semi-structured interviews as primary research methods. By employing purposive sampling, a total of 30- 35 participants (10 to 12 in education, sociology, and public health – three disciplines that have reuse cultures) will be recruited for this study.