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09:30-10:45 Session 5
Nina Janz (Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)

ABSTRACT. Data collections are essential for historical research. In addition to official archives and state institutions, collections from research institutions and private holders face different challenges in creation and consistency, preservation and use. While most private collections are stored in official and state archives due to donations or the acquisition of private holdings, crowdsourcing data as private collections is a different approach. Crowdsourcing has become popular in Citizen Science and public history projects in the last decade. Although crowdsourcing is not (always) meant to create an archive, the data or contributions collected are an archive nonetheless. This paper aims to highlight the possibilities and pitfalls of crowdsourcing to build an archive of private origin. In February 2021, a team at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg launched a call for contributions to collect ego documents about the war generation. As part of the project, "WARLUX - War Experiences in Luxembourg", the team is researching the personal side of the history of the Luxembourgish war generation. To uncover the individual experiences of these men, women and families, the team asked the public to share their family stories, letters, diaries, photographs and other personal documents. The researchers aimed to enrich records on individuals, which had not yet been collected or published. While the crowdsourcing campaign was intended as complementary research material, we have created a unique digital archive of personal memories and individual voices in the form of first-hand documents and a novelty in the cultural landscape in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. In my presentation and paper, I will explore the possibilities of crowdsourced (digital) private archives, their pitfalls and challenges such as copyright and GDRP and sensitive information and its future implementation into official cultural institutions.

Linda Chernis (GALA Queer Archive, South Africa)
Preservation, privacy and access: Diving into Digital

ABSTRACT. In 2020, GALE/CENGAGE Primary Sources included 25 collections from the GALA Queer Archive in its latest series in their digital Archives of Gender & Sexuality Series. This presentation will look at the experience of a relatively small, queer archive undergoing a large-scale digitization project for the first time. Contrary to popular belief, digitizing archival collections is a time-consuming and complex project: the preparation and itemizing of material pre-scanning, as well as the post-scanning redaction work, are often overlooked. Making sure material did not compromise anyone’s safety or privacy, a crucial aspect when digitizing and publishing any archive material online, but even more so in the context of an archive that records stories of marginalized and at-risk groups, requires diligent pre and post digitization decisions on what to include, what to leave out, and where to redact. The presentation will end off with an update of the post-digitization experience of the last two years, particularly as the publishing of the series coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, and the world ‘closing down’.

10:45-11:15Coffee break
11:15-12:30 Session 6A
Marianne Rostgaard (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Pia Borlund (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Nils Pharo (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Ying-Hsang Liu (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Supporting Users of Archives for Open Dialogue in Digital Humanities
PRESENTER: Pia Borlund

ABSTRACT. We propose a paper presentation of 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 by 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 in different ways.

However, there is no strong 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. Of particular interest for our study, is 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.

This project aims to understand users’ information needs and information access by studying user search behaviour (via the participating archives) 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 of 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?

Sindiso Bhebhe (University of South Africa, Department of Information Science, South Africa)
The Counter-Archival Online Digital Discourse in Southern Africa: Understanding and Critiquing their Modus Operandi

ABSTRACT. The documentation of national history or the creation of nationhood’s historical narrative used to be monopolised by the national mainstream archives. However, the proliferation of digital technologies and the use of Internet has seen drastic change over this and with the definition of what an archive itself taking new dimensions. This is clearly explained by Ozban (2014:12-13) who stated that “traditional archives are discussed with their 'fixity' and 'materiality', though in the so-called 'archival age' where the internet has become an endless flow of knowledge and records of numerous forms, the fixity of archive turns into a fluidity of information”. Ozban (2014:12) further avers that “new media technologies and digitalisation has transformed and reconfigured not only the notion of archive but also the forms, content, and structure of official and personal archives”. The implications of this are that any individual who has access and skills of using the digital technologies can now speak back to the ‘national official archive’ by creating a counter archive which addresses the concerns of archival exclusions by those who are currently wielding the national power. This ‘other’ or counter and personal archives which are mainly digital in nature have become the parallel holdings to the mainstream archival institutions. This phenomenon is also becoming prevalent in Southern Africa. Therefore, this article intends to critique this discourse with purposively selected concrete examples to the extent of even looking at the legal framework governing this archival development. The scope of the article will be mainly focussed on the examples of online digital archives that speak to the exclusions created by the conventional mainstream archives and their website content will be qualitatively analysed. Findings are likely to show that these online archives are a response to the dimensions of power which are at play in the national archival discourse.

Olof Karsvall (The Swedish National Archives, Sweden)
Karl-Magnus Johansson (The Swedish National Archives, Sweden)
Dick Kasperowski (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Transcription node Sweden - machine learning and citizen science combined
PRESENTER: Olof Karsvall

ABSTRACT. How should artificial intelligence and citizen science best be combined in order to transcribe and make available large amounts of handwritten texts? The goal for this project is to prepare for, and lay the foundation of, an established and integrated transcription node in Sweden. In order to do so we will:

1) Examine and follow up previous handwritten text recognition (HTR) projects where citizen science has been included, to generate a best practice. For example, how should communities within citizen science be organised and what kind of support is needed? To find the particulars, we will conduct interviews with people who have been part of a previous project. 2) Analyse the use of citizen science within cultural heritage research in general, and in relation to HTR technology in specific. The target group are decision-makers and cultural heritage institutions. 3) Test different existing platforms in order to examine how they can be of use and/or altered to suit citizen science. In collaboration with the Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies, volunteers will be involved to transcribe and use HTR tools. Their work will be followed up and the data created will be analysed from an interoperability perspective.

The results will be presented in peer-reviewed journals and summarized in a report where we will propose an organisation and methods for how to make a national Transcription Node Sweden possible, including strategic decisions for the cultural heritage institutions. The result will also be used in future research project applications. The project is a collaboration between the Swedish National Archives and Arenas for building relations for co-operation through citizen science (ARCS) at the University of Gothenburg.


Additional presenters: Karl-Magnus Johansson &, Dick Kasperowski

11:15-12:30 Session 6B
Pekka Henttonen (Tampere University, Finland)
Lif Jacobsen (Niels Bohr Archive (associated researcher), Denmark)
World data centers and geo-policy

ABSTRACT. Initiatives like the International Science Councils Committee on Data (CODATA), FAIR principle and the European Open Access Cloud (EO-AC) action plan all recognition that research data culture and management must improve if global challenges are to be met and, in particular, more inclusive practices in research data circulations are to be set out. The International Science Council (ICS), through its World Data System, oversees a system of world data centres, most of which are located in the US, Russia, China as well as in the European Union. The global unevenness of the world data exchange infrastructure is not in itself surprising. Most world data centres were established at the height of the Cold War which to a large extent shaped their initial configuration – inevitably prioritizing their location on the superpowers’ territory (and often within their own national data centres). Historians have only started to explore the world data exchange system’s ancestry, especially in light of the recent adoption within the research community of much larger datasets or “big data”. Presenting early insights from NEWORLD@A sub-project 3 on global seismic data, the project ultimately aims to reveal the actors and organizations involved in the setting up of these systems. Their actual development over time and across distant geographical locations with the view of better understanding aspects of uneven and unequal distribution, and tensions in data collection, storage, use and circulation emerging over time and dividing nations at different level of scientific development.

Maria João Fonseca (FCSH/ Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)
Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles archive: celebrate by revealing

ABSTRACT. This article discusses the relationship between custody and access, focusing on Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles' (GRT) archive. The appraisal of landscape architectural records is still summarily dismissed compared to other fields, such as architecture and urban planning. Yet the problem is more complex, considering the many existing interpretations of the purpose and function of these different and yet close disciplines. Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, a major figure in Portuguese landscape architecture and environmental policies, would turn 100 in 2022 and bequeathed us a valuable historical archive. Nationally and internationally recognized with several articles, books and prizes, and the most significant lifetime achievement award Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe prize, his archive and historical records are still unrevealed. This article proposes to follow the new appraisal paradigm suggested by Terry Cook (1996). Focusing first on an analysis of the creator − the biographic approach − leads to selecting the functions, activities, and record creators that need to be documented for posterity. This stage engages the archivist in the "macro-appraisal" process; this means the creator's functions before the records. Regarding the importance of the contextual milieu in which records are created, a structure of the functional approach to the creator will be presented and guide the organization of the records in the future. Dealing with Cook's challenge to "architectural archivists (and those interested in helping them) to move from passively gathering available architectural archival collections into their buildings to using macro-appraisal tools to build virtual architectural archives spanning collecting jurisdictions" (p. 142), a map of the places where records are stored will partake on the genealogy of the record. To conclude, I intend to discuss the results and how its dissemination impacts society (at educational and cultural levels), fostering the advancement of knowledge and increasing landscape awareness.

Efstathia Kostopoulou (The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK)
Locative Media & the Activation of the Archive in Public Space

ABSTRACT. Telling the stories of places has extended in the use of archival material, including also of those of personal collections, in public spaces. In the extension of the notion of museums without walls we have seen a wealth of projects which use locative media to tell the stories of places in-situ, at the actual places this material relates to. This presentation will discuss through a series of projects, the activation of archives through digital and physical storytelling during festivals, commemorative practices and regeneration processes that reconfigure notions of local memory in public space.

13:30-14:30 Session 7
Christian Larsen (The Danish National Archives, Denmark)
Devon Mordell (McMaster University, Canada)
Oil, Abundance, and Intangibility: Mapping the contours of an archives as data paradigm
14:30-15:00Coffee break
15:00-17:00 Session 8: Round table: The COVID-19 experience in and through the archive

Organisers: Seren Wendelken and Gillian Oliver

Round table participants: Fiorella Foscarini (Associate Professor, University of Toronto), Charles Jeurgens (Professor, University of Amsterdam), Ragna Kemp Haraldsdóttir (Assistant Professor, University of Iceland), Jette Holmstrøm Kjellberg (Senior Archivist, Danish National Archives), and Anna-Kristina Andersson (Archivist, Swedish National Archives).

Seren Wendelken (Monash University, Australia)
Gillian Oliver (Monash University, Australia)
18:30-21:00 Conference dinner at restaurant “Meyers i Tårnet”

NB! Please note that the restaurant is situated in the Tower which is part of the Danish Parliament’s area. This means that all guests must go through the security check at the entrance. Please make sure to arrive well ahead of the conference dinner as there might be waiting time in the security area.