Call for research project participants… “Context and Digitization: Towards a New Model for Archives”

—–Original Message—–
From: Material Culture and Vernacular Landscapes and Artifact
Preservation [mailto:H-MATERIAL-CULTURE@H-NET.MSU.EDU] On Behalf Of
Artimus Keiffer
Sent: 28 October 2008 12:49
Subject: m/c: Archival Context & Digitization Project

From: are invited to participate in the following research project. Please
excuse cross-postings.

Context and Digitization: Towards a New Model for Archives

Nearly a decade ago, in his inaugural address as president of the
Society of American Archivists, Nicholas Burckel painted a vision of the
future in which significant scholarship would be conducted exclusively
via the internet, using digitized resources. That future has already
been realized in some disciplines.

Scholars in these disciplines are now discussing the impact of digital
resources on their fields. The concern for authenticity and accurate
digital representation are common concerns. All researchers, both
academic and amateur, have become increasingly reliant on digital
information sources. Reference sources such as Wikipedia register
millions of hits daily as the internet becomes the primary destination
for those seeking information.

Archives are making more of their resources available in digital format,
leading to investment in a vast array of archival digitization projects.
Archival materials are fundamentally different from those found on
Wikipedia and in most libraries. Archival materials are original records
created in the course of events to document a transaction. They
encompass a wide range of formats and genres that are today being
digitized and made available by archives via the internet.

Are these resources being fully optimized? You are invited to
participate in a series of surveys to elicit your thoughts on the
effectiveness of digitized materials currently available on the internet
and to evaluate a theoretical model of digitization, which will be
developed over the next year. There will be two stages of survey, during
late 2008 and again during 2009. During each stage you will be asked to
thoroughly and considerately complete a short questionnaire. The results
of these will be compiled and circulated to each participant. At this
time you will have to opportunity to amend your responses, if you wish,
in light of the general group response. It is estimated you will be able
to complete each questionnaire within 1 to 2 hours. Some participants
may be contacted for interviews.

Both archivists and archival users are sought for this study. Archivists
should be involved in digitization or digital reference at their
institutions. The ideal archival researcher conducts research both in
the traditional manner and digitally.

This research project is being undertaken as part of the requirements of
the PhD (Information Studies) degree at Edith Cowan University in Perth,

Should you wish to participate, please respond directly to the address
below by 1 November 2008.

Mark Vajcner

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