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Supporting Users of Archives for Open Dialogue in Digital Humanities

EasyChair Preprint no. 8417

10 pagesDate: July 10, 2022


We present a European collaborative research project in digital humanities, with references to user access to digital cultural heritage archives in the context of post-colonial history. The project aims to identify key instances of colonial audio-visual heritage across the archives involved and open a dialogue between the archives and a variety of users.

Digital cultural heritage in the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector can open a dialogue between the cultural heritage institutions and a variety of users in modern society. Digital archives can be used by groups of scholars looking for evidence to support an argument, community activists, documentary filmmakers, artists, and media professionals. An enhanced understanding of these user groups will increase the impact of digital media, such as digitised archives on social memories. Different users have different goals and therefore different information needs that should be accommodated differently.

However, there is no solid empirical tradition of investigating how users search archives and their corresponding information needs. Digitisation and online access open archives to a wider audience of users. We are interested in the shift of meaning in the language use over time and how archival material created in a colonial mindset can be re-appropriated and re-interpreted critically by current users.

Through a mixed-method approach (user survey and interview), we investigate how different users access the archives, what they seek, and which strategies they use, to answer the questions 1) How do different user groups (historians, postcolonial theorists, activists, communities, filmmakers) search video archives? 2) What needs and strategies do these different groups have? And 3) what are the contributing factors of search success or failure?

Keyphrases: Archival users, information access, information needs, Social memories

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Pia Borlund and Nils Pharo and Ying-Hsang Liu},
  title = {Supporting Users of Archives for Open Dialogue in Digital Humanities},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 8417},

  year = {EasyChair, 2022}}
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