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

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

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