Archives 2.0, the Archives Hub and AIM25


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Approaches to 'Archives 2.0' from the perspective of the Archives Hub and AIM25 services

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  • Archives 2.0, the Archives Hub and AIM25

    1. 1. Innovative ways, sustainable means The Archives Hub and AIM25 Jane Stevenson and Geoff Browell
    2. 2. Hub and AIM25 benefits <ul><li>Locate archives across a range of institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Save time and resources </li></ul><ul><li>Search by subject / name / place </li></ul><ul><li>Focus for archive community </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of standards for robust and sustainable descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation and experimentation </li></ul>
    3. 3. JISC Information Environment <ul><li>Providing a range of meaningful, rich and innovative methods of accessing electronic materials </li></ul><ul><li>A collaborative landscape of service providers who work together to seamlessly cater for the needs of the community on a national basis </li></ul><ul><li>Underpinned by real world interoperability, based upon a common standards framework </li></ul><ul><li>JISC Information Environment Development Strategy [2001] </li></ul>
    4. 4. British Archives: the vision <ul><li>“ Our vision of the future of British archives is of a flow of archival information which takes account of all the opportunities offered by digital networks and offers opportunity for exploration - historical, personal, social - to the broadest possible range of people wherever they can use it - in the home, the classroom or the office.” </li></ul>British Archives: The Way Forward (NCA, 2000)
    5. 5. The Archives 2.0 Manifesto <ul><li>Positive </li></ul><ul><li>Active </li></ul><ul><li>Responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Open </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental </li></ul><ul><li>User-focused </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    6. 6. A new Mindset <ul><li>An open and flexible approach to access, archives 2.0 should, fundamentally, be about developing a collaborative, transparent and user-focused approach, based on agreed standards, that enables others to engage with us and with the data that we hold on their own terms. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Implementation <ul><li>How to move forward in a sustainable way? </li></ul><ul><li>What underlies an effective Archives 2.0 approach? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Underlying principles of the Hub <ul><li>Data – standards, quality </li></ul><ul><li>Software – open source </li></ul><ul><li>System – interoperable, distributed </li></ul><ul><li>Development – user-focused, innovative </li></ul>
    9. 9. Data <ul><li>EAD – Encoded Archival Description </li></ul><ul><li>ISAD(G) </li></ul><ul><li>Indexing standards </li></ul><ul><li>Manual data editing </li></ul><ul><li>Validation through Template for data creation and editing </li></ul><ul><li>Training and raising awareness </li></ul>
    10. 10. Software <ul><li>Cheshire 3 and Cheshire for Archives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In-house development </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Interoperable System <ul><li>Ability to interoperate – exchange data between systems </li></ul><ul><li>Data working for benefit of users </li></ul><ul><li>The Archives Hub and AIM25 - EAD </li></ul><ul><li>CALM and AdLib </li></ul><ul><li>Datasets? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Distributed System <ul><li>Spokes institutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>administer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>customised web interface </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hosted spokes </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Flickr cc licence : Thomas Hawk
    13. 13. Open System <ul><li>Machine-to-machine interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Z39.50; OAI-PMH; SRU </li></ul><ul><li>Genesis portal for Women’s Studies – SRU search of the Hub </li></ul>To be a part of the JISC-IE, content providers need to support machine- oriented interfaces to their resources.
    14. 14. Development <ul><li>Steering Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Contributors’ Forum </li></ul><ul><li>Contributors’ Community </li></ul><ul><li>Blog, newsletters, email lists </li></ul><ul><li>National Archives Network </li></ul>
    15. 15. National Archive Network
    16. 17. AIM25 <ul><li>10 years-old </li></ul><ul><li>10,000 descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>100 partners </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 2m hits per month </li></ul><ul><li>Google-visible </li></ul><ul><li>Becoming a hub for London </li></ul><ul><li>LMA latest partner </li></ul><ul><li>2008-2009 upgrade – new descriptions, improved website, interoperability with M25 </li></ul><ul><li>Partner-led with central indexing standards </li></ul><ul><li>Forum to lead on standards, fundraising, sector issues </li></ul>
    17. 18. AIM25 and Archives 2.0 <ul><li>Asked ourselves - who uses it? </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid features for sake of it – what is the demand? Do users have the time – vast majority of users are under 1 minute </li></ul><ul><li>If colleagues don’t know what a tag cloud or social networking are, will users? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we afford it or do others do it better already – Facebook? </li></ul><ul><li>Most users are probably not Californian teenagers </li></ul>
    18. 19. AIM25: What did we do? <ul><li>Moderated Web 2.0 – democracy or benign dictatorship? </li></ul><ul><li>Avoided social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Hybrid tag clouds </li></ul><ul><li>Information alerts on new collections – RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Improving searching with cross searching with M25 – (‘isn’t it all just information?’) </li></ul>
    19. 20. Benefits <ul><li>More contemporary feel </li></ul><ul><li>Help with fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Users able to sift information more effectively and cross-search </li></ul><ul><li>Helps cultivate a ‘brand’. As catalogue information becomes more easily retrievable and machine-readable, so the ‘extra features’ and the trusted name become more important </li></ul><ul><li>These extras might include podcast lectures, National Curriculum tie-ins or dramatic re-enactments, extra bibliographic or catalogue content (‘you’re interested in that item, have you seen this?’), mapping or the ability to interact with other users </li></ul>
    20. 21. Right and wrong reasons <ul><li>Right: improves the work of Archives, collecting, preserving and making records accessible for current and future generations </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong: for its own sake; next ‘thing’; pressure to be fashionable; ‘cure-all’ or technical shortcut </li></ul>
    21. 22. Archives 2.0: Barriers <ul><li>Legal barriers (can’t publish everything) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost barriers (hidden costs such as training, IT development, policing UGC) </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting audiences (all things to all men) </li></ul><ul><li>Over-expectations (limited resources of sector): will users become restive if they are used to Flickr or Facebook and get FORTRAN? </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t manage resulting demand </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge/training gap (many archivists are unfamiliar with standards or terminology) </li></ul><ul><li>Danger of following fashion for its own sake – when is a paradigm shift not a paradigm shift? </li></ul>
    22. 23. Searching Questions <ul><li>How far do we want users to be sharing and engaging – do they want to? </li></ul><ul><li>Danger of users thinking everything is up for grabs, ‘Can’t I just publish any photograph I come across in your archive?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Role of the finding aid and its integrity – reliability of catalogues. What role is there for expert input? </li></ul><ul><li>Danger of ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’ </li></ul>
    23. 24. Talking points <ul><li>Better market research needed </li></ul><ul><li>Greater standardisation of statistics to gauge usage </li></ul><ul><li>Do users want it and can we afford the time, money and energy to handle the consequences? </li></ul><ul><li>Will management understand the implications or do they think it is technological panacea? (‘Can’t you just digitise everything?’) </li></ul><ul><li>Archivists need to understand the implications in order to educate institutions of the costs/benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Technologising the relationships which archivists have always cultivated – with donors, users and the public. So is it doing more of what we do well already? </li></ul>
    24. 25. Talking points <ul><li>Do we get the basics right first? (cataloguing backlogs, basic digitisation and improved physical access) </li></ul><ul><li>Standards – electronic and ethical </li></ul><ul><li>The role of the archivist from intercessor/ intermediary to facilitator in a personal relationship or journey of discovery through records: an Archive equivalent of the Protestant Reformation? </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge, expertise and interpretive skills remain at the heart of the profession </li></ul>
    25. 26. Archives 2.0 will be… <ul><li>Relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable </li></ul><ul><li>Skills-based </li></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Result in greater co-operation and networking between all types of archive institution </li></ul><ul><li>A journey not a destination </li></ul>
    26. 27. Contact details <ul><li>Jane Stevenson: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Geoff Browell: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Visit the National Archives Network social space: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Check out the Hub blog: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Check out the Archives Hub twitter </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>