DepositArchive and Library

Archives and libraries operate within a complex web of social, political and economic forces. Digital technologies, globalization, the corporatization of the academy, and increasing commercial control of the scholarly record are just some of the myriad forces shaping their evolution. Libraries and archives in turn have shaped the production of knowledge, participating in transformations in scholarship, publishing and the nature of access to current and historical materials. Librarians and archivists increasingly recognize that they exist within institutional systems of power. Questioning long-held assumptions about library and archival neutrality and objectivity, they are working to expand access to previously marginalized materials, to theorize transformations in the nature of the historical record, to educate users about the forces shaping their access to information, to raise awareness about bias in information tools and systems, and to empower disenfranchised communities.

Deposit“The Archive Effect: Archival Footage as an Experience of Reception.”

In recent years, “the archive” as both a concept and an object has been undergoing a transformation. The increased availability of still and video cameras, analog and then digital, has led to a proliferation of indexical documents outside of official archives and prompted questions about what constitutes an “archive,” and, hence, what constitute “archival documents.” At the same time, filmmakers are appropriating sounds and images from various sources, thereby breaking down the distinction between “found” and “archival” documents. This situation calls for a reformulation of the very notion of the archival document. This article reframes the archival document not as an object but as a spectatorial experience or a relationship between viewer and text. I contend that certain appropriated audiovisual documents produce for the viewer what I call the “archive effect” and that this encounter endows these documents with a particular kind of authority as “evidence.”

DepositArchive What I See Now

The web has become a repository for much of our social culture. Thus, humanities scholars have recognized the need for archiving web objects to support their research. We propose to build an open-source tool to support this personal-scale web archiving. We will build a Firefox add-on to create an archive of a web page or web site from the perspective of the browser. This means that web pages requiring authentication, pages on social media sites, and pages displayed after some user interaction can all be archived in the standard Web ARChive (WARC) format. This tool will provide easy access to web archiving and give users the ability to “archive what I see now.” The tool will also allow users to upload generated WARC files to a specified server for later access. With this tool, collaborating scholars could upload their WARCs to a common server to create special-purpose collections of various topics. These collections could then be accessed by standard web archive tools.

DepositVisualizing Archival Collections

The proposed project will build on the research and prototype development work done in the creation of ArchivesZ. This project has two goals. The first is to design and evaluate interfaces for visualizing aggregated data harvested from EAD encoded archival finding aids. The second is to analyze and develop recommendations for handling issues related to the lack of subject term standardization in the description of archival collections. This will lay the foundation for future work to develop a tool for use in visualizing archival collections from institutions using EAD to encode their finding aids. A tool for visualizing this broad range of archival collections would support both experienced and amateur researchers in their efforts to locate new materials. Any set of archival collections could be evaluated an an aggregated manner. Visualization tools can support discovery of relationships among time periods and subjects that otherwise may never be detected.

DepositDecolonizing Archival Methodology: Combating hegemony and moving towards a collaborative archival environment

The foundation of archival methodology is influenced by colonialism and imperialism. This paternalistic system has created a hegemonic environment that has directly influenced archivists working with Indigenous materials. While positive steps have been made, such as the enactment of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) and the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials (2006), severe limitations exist due to a difference in worldview and cultural beliefs. In order to reverse the effects of hegemony and decolonize archival methodology, an exerted effort must be made to increase collaboration between archives and Indigenous communities. Furthermore, higher education must attract Indigenous students to information science programs in order to create a more diverse workforce. However, in order to enact lasting change in methodology, the archival profession must receive an injection of activist principles. These principles will help advance decolonizing initiatives and ensure the end of paternalism and colonialism in archival science.

DepositInternet Archiving – The Wayback Machine

Assignment for the Information Management & Policy (IMP) module for the Library Science Masters at City, University of London. This essay answers the question “is information a resource that can be managed in the same way as gas or water?” by looking at the issues surrounding the archiving of the internet, with particular reference to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.