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Metadata From the Source: Participatory Metadata Models in Post-Custodial Projects in Latin America

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Presentation part of panel 6 focused on Re-thinking Metadata and Descriptive Practices

Abstract:
As the call from the United Nations for Human Rights-based approaches to data gains momentum across the world, the LLILAS Benson Digital Initiatives team at the University of Texas at Austin begins by asking “how can post-custodial models facilitate efforts at self determination?” In particular how can participatory metadata creation approaches used by LLILAS Benson in various post-custodial partnerships across Latin America improve archival description praxis. Speaker will deliberate on previous and current implementations of ethics driven participatory metadata creation practices used for post-custodial digitization projects in a cultural heritage institution. Insights aim to further establish collaborative information processes that will in turn bring about richer, culturally sensitive and human rights centered metadata for digital cultural heritage collections.

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Metadata From the Source: Participatory Metadata Models in Post-Custodial Projects in Latin America

  1. 1. Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) | June 28, 2019 Metadata From the Source: Participatory Metadata Models in Post-Custodial Projects in Latin America Itza A. Carbajal | Latin American Metadata Librarian | LLILAS Benson
  2. 2. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS Hello! My name is Itza A. Carbajal Latin American Metadata Librarian Website: www.itzacarbajal.com ⇥ Working on the Latin American Digital Initiatives (LADI) project ⇥ Hired on a grant funded post-custodial project ⇥ Oversee metadata creation, management, & consultation ⇥ Develop and conduct metadata creation trainings ⇥ Consult on emerging technologies that facilitate metadata use 2
  3. 3. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS Post Custodial Model 3
  4. 4. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS Despite attempts at establishing a common understanding of Post Custodialism, varying interpretations and approaches have developed over the years.The following compares the originally proposed framework & the evolving LLILAS Benson model. 4 Origins of Post Custodialism Post Custodialism in Government Holdings Gerald Ham, 1981 Late 20th century revolution in information processing is inexorably changing the world and the work of archivists. These changes Ham argued pushes archivists into a new period he called post-custodial archival history. Early periods meant record quantities were relatively small; fairly simple technology of records creation, storage, and retrieval; and archivists held a passive role in shaping the documentary record. Previous custodial ethos made archivists excessively proprietary toward archival holdings New period brings many changes including computer processing of information allowed people to collect, preserve, and manipulate vast quantities of social and economic data. Now archivists can make a large portion of their holdings as available, but this requires changes in outmoded ideas about where and by whom resources are used. Post Custodialism at LLILAS Benson Changes started during a multi-partner project called the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) Collaborating partners in light of increasing efforts atTruth & Reconciliation recognized significance of retaining records (UTL/LLILAs Benson) had to confront many atypical practical acquisition and access conditions (distance, ethical considerations, evolving nature of records). Decision to adopt new approach came as a result of traditional repositories trying to preserve living records (meaning those still in use by creators) Current efforts at standarding LLILAS Benson internal model started with a 2013-2015 planning grant awarded by the AndrewW. Mellon for the project “Post-Custodial Archival Development and Digital Scholarship: Learning from Latin America” Continues today with a 2017-2019 AndrewW. Mellon Foundation grant award allowing LLILAS Benson to continue the development of the institution’s Latin American Post-Custodial work and implementation.
  5. 5. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS 5 CIRMA Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica Guatemala CIDCA Centro de Investigación y Documentación de la Costa Atlántica Bluefields, Nicaragua MUPI El Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen El Salvador Fondo Real de Cholula Tribunal Superior de Justicia del Estado de Puebla Mexico PCN Proceso de Comunidades Negras Colombia ISA/EAACONE Instituto Socioambiental Equipe de Articulação e Assessoria às Comunidades Negras doVale do Ribeira Brazil Post Custodial Partners
  6. 6. Post Custodial Principles at LLILAS Benson Redefining Roles Redistribute Resources Diversify the Historical Record Redistribute Power Interventions by archivists Decentralized Holdings New Modes of Access Shared Stewardship Democratize the Historical Record
  7. 7. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS Metadata is Data 7
  8. 8. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS 8 Metadata as Data The now more common concept of metadata or “data about data” becomes even more complex data Publishers Creators System Developers Catalogers General Public Administrators Researchers Aggregators Governments Different / New Sources Ongoing or Proposed Uses Finding Contextualizing Discovering Managing Analyzing Searching Designing Distributing
  9. 9. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS 9 • Focus on issues of data collection and disaggregation • Contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and the UN Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) • General guidance and elements of a common understanding of a Human Rights-Based Approach to Data • helps bring together relevant data stakeholders and develop communities of practice that improve the quality, relevance and use of data consistently with international human rights norms and principles • should be of interest to those eager to ensure respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights in the measurement and implementation of the 2030 Agenda United Nations for Human Rights-based approaches to data Published in 2018 as part of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  10. 10. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS Participatory Metadata Practices 10
  11. 11. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS Public Participation Models based on Nina Simon Book The Participatory Museum 11 Contributory projects Visitors are solicited to provide limited and specified objects, actions, or ideas to an institutionally controlled process. Comment boards and story-sharing kiosks are both common platforms for contributory activities. Collaborative projects Visitors are invited to serve as active partners in the creation of institutional projects that are originated and ultimately controlled by the institution. Co-creative projects Community members work together with institutional staff members from the beginning to define the project’s goals and to generate the program or exhibit based on community interests. Hosted projects The institution turns over a portion of its facilities and/or resources to present programs developed and implemented by public groups or casual visitors.This happens in both scientific and cultural institutions. Institutions share space and/or tools with community groups with a wide range of interests, from amateur astronomers to knitters.
  12. 12. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS 12 Redefining Roles Redistribute Resources Diversify the Historical Record Redistribute Power Interventions by archivistsDecentralized Holdings New Modes of Access Shared Stewardship Democratize the Historical Record Contributory Collaborative Co-Creative Host
  13. 13. FIRST UP CONSULTANTS 13 CIRMA CIDCA MUPI (2 of 3 collections) Fondo Real de Cholula ISA/EAACONE PCN MUPI (1 of 3 collections) LADI Metadata Implementations SCENARIO 3SCENARIO 2SCENARIO 1 Partner in complete control Partners prioritize areas of interests Transferred files require extensive processing Imbalance in metadata across collections Difficulty in mapping if no documentation No designated metadata archivist Partner partial control Feedback from scholars to prioritize Prioritize areas of interests Transferred files require slightly more processing Imbalance in metadata across collections Difficulty in mapping if no documentation Partner less in control Consultation to prioritize areas of interests Transferred files require less processing Balance in metadata across collections Mapping established pre-launch More documentation Designated archivist
  14. 14. Paradigm Shift
  15. 15. Historical Debt ⇥ Concept proposed by Post Custodial archivistTheresa Polk ⇥ Modeled after technical debt meaning the implied cost of additional work caused by choosing an easy or limited solution at the beginning instead of using a better, slower, or more expensive approach. ⇥ Related to monetary debt in respect to notion of acquired interest ⇥ Debt must be paid at some point ⇥ Metadata accumulates debt that ends in deficient information ■ less consistency, completeness, accuracy, adherence, sensitivity ■ more redundancy, inaccuracies, disrespect
  16. 16. THANK YOUItza A. Carbajal i.carbajal@austin.utexas.edu www.itzacarbajal.com 16

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