Monday, March 24, 2008

Several interesting studies on archives

Over the past few weeks, I have been introduced to a variety of new studies that strike me as incredibly fascinating. The academic crunch that is late March does not permit me to list them all let alone comment.

I will try to mention a few very interesting items that I have recently discovered. Today, I learned about this fascinating forum done by the OCLC: Digitization matters: Breaking through the barriers—scaling up digitization of special collections (and the summary essay that goes with it). This forum and essay argue that digitization has to be done and in high VOLUME. If this means compromising on an obsession with standards, then so be it. I like this idea but archives especially (libraries, as usual, are way ahead of archives) need to heed the message. There are still quite a few Archives' websites that simply provide contact information and a photo or two may have been impressive for 1994.

There is also
a British study that I should like to comment on. It does not directly concern archives but its analysis of information seeking behavior is of relevance to our field. Of the various sections, I thought the study on student information behavior to be of greatest interest.

The final item of today's post is something that I would love to see more of; research into users of archives. AX-SNet (Archival eXcellence in Information Seeking Studies Network) is a model that has good potential. It apparently grew out of a British project to understand users of archives better, particularly online users. The project's bibliography is a good starting point for anyone interested in pursuing research in this field.

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