The presentation will follow this four-part structure:
1. Why is metadata important? A look at digitized photographs from the physical archive
2. Critical metadata in the digital archive – a focus on historicity
3. Photogrammar – context and remixability in the digital archive
4. Implications for research in the digital archive
Digitization has produced a boom in archival access. Previously relatively inaccessible, stored in acid-free archival folders in boxes far away from light and behind lock and key, archival documents now circulate online, making their way not just into historical research but into Pinterest collections and private blog posts. These materials have often been found by googling. The metadata attached to individual digitized documents provides a set of access points for users, regardless of their familiarity with the rules of archival research. Online perusers do not need to read finding aids, preorder entire boxes of documents, and travel to archives, often without knowing precisely what is in those waiting boxes. This presentation will discuss the problems and opportunities of freeing documents from their physical and organizational institutional contexts via digitization, focusing on materials in particular need of contextualization: photographs.
Rachel Pierce is Senior Lecturer, at Swedish School of Library and Information Science, Högskolan i Borås.