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Teaching, Professional Development & Theory

February 25, 2011

First session after lunch. Time to talk about teaching and how it relates to personal digital archiving. Let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Digital Forensic Training
Cal Lee (University of North Carolina
Forensication: The incorporation of digital forensics methods, tools, and concepts in contexts other than criminal investigations.

Forensication of Archives: recover data when technology fail, capturing evidence from places that are not always immediately visible, ensuring that actions don’t make irreversible changes, attending to order of volatility, documenting what we do, so others will know what we might have changed, taking advantage of the information associated with files to ensure that users of the files understand their context of creation.

Collecting institutions are getting removable media and want to collect the online traces of individuals. And digital forensics field provides training and tools, primarily focused on law enforcement.

Example: School of Information at UNC Chapel Hill
Created lab for learning about the application of digital forensics to the acquisition of digital materials. Check out digitalcorpora.org

Want to build the capacity at UNC and translation of industry models and techniques to the archival world. Lots of questions to answer about: how to apply the tools, how much adaptation is required, and what software is most useful. Also looking at ethics of access: can’t be avoided because users can exploit forensic methods, even if we don’t.

Vision: widespread incorporation of forensic methods into routine processing of archival materials. BitCurator–a modular software environment that implements various batch processes on bitstreams to support two contexts: established forensic programs at institutions and those institutions/individuals getting started with digital forensics.

Personal Digital Archiving, the Diminishing Information Age, and the Archival Paradigm
Richard Cox (University of Pittsburgh)

Big picture context type of discussion. We are so immersed in technology that we are not listening to each other. Need to see how projects connect to each other and what are the practical applications.

People are losing confidence about being able to access their content= information is diminishing. Also, this is why people are interested in personal digital archiving. Worried about losing information with transition to to online/digital way of doing things. Cox’s example, ebooks as “ghost books” versus the physical book.

Problems: libraries closing, losing browsability, end of slow reading, students don’t know how to read and think critically, disappearing bookstores, declining newspaper sales and end of journals, worried about authority of news online, and library and information schools changing/transitioning to iSchools.

Archival paradigm needs to change to have archivists become enablers of others to be able to curate/archive their own data (personal archiving). People are worried about losing their data.

We need to think more deeply and broadly about digital archives and collaborate with each other.

Archival Sense-making: Personal Digital Archiving as an Iteration
Mark Matienzo (Yale University Library) and Amelia Abreu (University of Washington)

Frame personal digital archiving within the context of appraisal and archivalization, examine the contexts of archival sensemaking and identity creation.

Archival sensemaking is a situated action and archivialization is a conscious or unconscious decision process whether something is worth archiving and sensemaking is a theoretical guideline for the analyses of this study. They have taken sensemaking from other disciplines and drawing heavily on Brenda Dervin’s work.

How does sensemaking take place in personal digital archiving?
Collecting as meaningful negotiation. Also looking at context. Looking at archival genres (influenced by Derrida): collections and spaces where you can dwell on text and create new materials.

While sensemaking may be a promising framework in archival research, however there are limits to using sensemaking as a theoretical framework. (This is true of most imported theories, but it is great that these researchers are explicitly documenting the limitations.)

Take away: Library and information science education is changing and should change. We need to collaborate more and break down the silos among our projects. Theories from allied fields may be imported for archival research successfully, but we must be aware of the limitations. Final thoughts? Interesting things happening at graduate schools and we need to figure out how to share information in a more efficient and meaningful way.

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