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Thursday, May 12 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
An Archive of One’s Own: The Radical Possibilities of the Digital Database

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Advances in digitally networked technologies, combined with increasingly plentiful space for electronic storage have resulted in an expansion of opportunities for archiving cultural artifacts. The ability to create digital media and to digitize analogue media democratizes the role of the archivist and allows new opportunities for collaboration and, in so doing, highlights the underlying value systems that have informed digitization and preservation efforts to date. In place of a few official archives, copious personal and participatory archives have arisen, collections that are characterized by a more diverse content base, a realignment of knowledge objects, and a reimagining of the connections among and between them.

The clear delineation between data and metadata, for instance, is called into question with the recognition that context, in many ways, dictates meaning. So too the boundary of any single archive is increasingly in flux as each exists in a larger online network. Moreover the fixedness of a single artifact becomes destabilized as digital copies, failing to exhaust the original, result in potentially limitless replicas. In this media landscape then, discoverability is a key issue when considering archival practices. Do digital spaces merely amplify those voices that are already heard loudly and clearly? What sort of stewardship issues prevail in a network controlled by the private sector? And how might considering all such issues help us to reimagine other knowledge objects (the memoir, the monograph), as well as structures of knowledge (the edited anthology, the university-held collection) in order that their buried assumptions might be openly scrutinized and evaluated?

The four presentations (long papers) in this panel tackle such questions, using a current project to illuminate aspects of contemporary archives and archival practices in all of their rich diversity.

avatar for Caitlin Fisher

Caitlin Fisher

Director, Augmented Reality Lab, York University
Caitlin directs the Augmented Reality Lab at York University where she held the Canada Research Chair in Digital Culture for the past decade. A 2013 Fulbright Chair, she is the recipient of many international awards for digital storytelling including the Electronic Literature Award... Read More →

Thursday May 12, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm MST
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  Archives and Collections, Interactive Session
  • Session Location COOR L1-84