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Archival Archaeology: Unearthing Finds About Archives and Special Collections Users
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Archival Archaeology: Unearthing Finds About Archives and Special Collections Users


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Presented at SCA Annual General Meeting 2013, 13 April 2013, Berkeley, California (USA)

Presented at SCA Annual General Meeting 2013, 13 April 2013, Berkeley, California (USA)

Published in: Education

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  • What I’ll cover today: What is ArchiveGrid?A survey about archives and special collections usersWhat we learnedWhat it means for ArchiveGrid
  • Bruce, Ellen and Merrilee are the core of the ArchiveGrid team[click]We confer and consult regularly with other members of OCLC Research to guide our work, in particular Jen Schaffner and Jackie Dooley
  • What does beta mean? Placeholder for a research system etc…
  • Target subjects were archives and special collections audiences we defined in 2005 and tested early versions of ArchiveGrid on.
  • Photo attribution: “Crowd,” by James Cridland. Retrieved 4/11/13 from Flickr:
  • How did we account for librarians and archivists? The numbers add up to 711 because some people identified themselves in double roles.
  • Word-of-mouth (colleagues and friends) = 82%Email/posts from communities/groups = 69%Print literature = 68%Events/meetings = 49%Facebook = 18%Twitter = 12%
  • A melange of where researchers say they begin their research. Mostly online, with promise of digital and range from library catalogs and databases to regional, national, and commercial services.
  • Then as people continue and finish up their research, note the emphasis on the transition from online search systems to library and archival materials and offline information-gathering methods.
  • How do you share new websites and other research resources? Email with colleagues and friends = 80%Word-of-mouth = 61%Email/posts to communities and groups = 40%Facebook = 20%Print literature = 12%
  • user comments = genealogists found most helpful, faculty found least helpfulTags = grad students found most helpful, genealogists found least helpfulReviews = genealogists found most useful, grad students found least usefulRecommendations = genealogists found most useful, faculty found least usefulSaving to a list = grad students found most useful, genealogists found least usefulConnecting with others = genealogists found most helpful, grad students found least usefulNone are relevant for me = faculty the most, genealogists the least. But when we checked which features faculty liked the most, the top three are reviews, recommendations, and lists.However, the group that uses FB and T the most to discover and share new research resources were faculty. They are also the ones who So, the gap between social media and doing research for publication isn’t as wide as we expected.
  • “A scholar whose reputation I know” followed closely. Then colleagues and friends, then faculty. Faculty is the only group that identified other scholars before librarians and archivists. 47% who go to librarians and archivists said reviews are the most important website features. So, there is opportunity for librarians and archivists to show their expertise and knowledge through writing, which would be useful for faculty who is the largest group to find reviews the most valuable website feature.
  • Photo attribution: “Crowd,” by James Cridland. Retrieved 4/11/13 from Flickr:
  • Write reviews and other user-initiated social content.Embed online and dwell where the growing number of offsite researchers liveDigitize primary sources and make them easily findable online.Email is still a tried and true method for sharing information, so keep it at the forefront of your operationsWord of mouth is still a tried and true method of sharing information, so establish relationships with peopleSocial media, along with library catalogs and databases, plays a role in how faculty and graduate students find and share information.
  • Working to share ArchiveGrid data with larger research systems for genealogists such as FamilySearch and AncestryTopicWeb funtions as an interactive opportunity for faculty, archivists, librarians, and experts to interact
  • Transcript

    • 1. Unearthing finds about archivesand special collections usersEllen Eckert, OCLC Research
    • 2. Our groupBruce WashburnSoftware EngineerSan Mateo, CAEllen EckertResearch AssistantPortland, ORMerrilee ProffittProgram OfficerSan Mateo, CAJennifer SchaffnerProgram OfficerSan Mateo, CAJackie DooleyProgram OfficerSan Mateo, CAMarc BronInternSan Mateo, CA
    • 3. Connects people toprimary sourcesMore than1.7 millioncollectiondescriptions
    • 4. 2006RLG and OCLC combineArchiveGrid testedand launched2011Subscription-free versionof ArchiveGrid launched2004RLG studies archives andspecial collections users1999RLG launchesArchival ResourcesArchiveGrid’s history
    • 5.
    • 6. Our 2011 survey
    • 7. 14 questionsApril 27-May 25Targeted researchers$50 Amazon gift card!Each question allowed commenting
    • 8. Scope
    • 9. 1.Who are the researchers and what are they like?2.What resources do researchers useand how do they find them?3.How do researchers search online?4.What do researchers want to know from their search?
    • 10. “Archives and special collections” aredefined as library and archivalmaterials in any format, generallycharacterized by their value, physicalformat, uniqueness or rarity.For example: rarebooks, manuscripts, photographs, institutional archives including digitalitems.
    • 11. 695 surveysdone (81%)
    • 12. Respondentsfacultygraduates/post grad’sgenealogistsunaffiliated scholars(36%)(30%)(29%)(26%)208177172154
    • 13. Discovering new websites and other research resources
    • 14. “I also find it useful tospeak with mycolleagues and advisorabout resources thatmay be relevant orprovide a goodjumping off point.”- graduate student
    • 15. “Im on Facebook, anduse it, but do notgenerally find newresearch related sourcesthere. Twitter though isa constant stream ofnew information.”– museum curator
    • 16. Sharing new websites and other research resources
    • 17. “When I want toshare a researchresource withfriends, I email thema link.”- unaffiliated scholar
    • 18. Valuable web features
    • 19. Over 80% of survey respondentsidentified librarians andarchivists, when answering thequestion “Is there a particulartype of user whose comments,recommendations, etc. you findmost valuable?”
    • 20. Unaffiliated scholars: what is the intended purpose of your research?Research purposePersonalPublication
    • 21. LivinghistoryperformerTutorMetaldetectingexplorer BloggerArtistWriterExhibitdesignerEventplannerTeacherArchives, library,museum, historicalsociety employeePresenterModelshipbuilderChurchmemberForensicengineerWorkingprofessionalVolunteerFilmmakerConsultantJournalistCuriouspersonDocumentarymakerFamilymemberRetireeHistoric homestour guide
    • 22. Now what?
    • 23. WriteEmbedDigitizeEmailTalkSocialize
    • 24. Sharing dataTopicWeb