Preliminary Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Papers 5: Archives and records
Tuesday, 24/Mar/2020:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Erik Borglund, Mid Sweden University
Location: Aristoteles
Floor 4

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Identifying Challenges for Information Organization in Language Archives: Preliminary Findings

M. Burke, O. L. Zavalina

University of North Texas, United States of America

Language archives are repositories of linguistic data about a selected set of lan-guages, typically including recordings, transcripts, translations, and linguistic an-notations. Digital accessibility of primary language data, particularly that of en-dangered languages, has long been recognized as necessary for research repro-ducibility, production of pedagogical materials, and typological discovery, though their potential currently lies dormant because these resources are rarely accessed by linguists or language communities. Reasons for the under-utilization of lan-guage archives include the lack of data standardization and decreased focus on metadata quality. The project reported here seeks to elucidate the issues facing language archive managers and users through two steps: content analysis of in-formation organization in language archives, semi-structured interviews with lan-guage archive managers, and interviews and observations with language archive users. Primary challenges identified include lacking institutional support and a range of factors which impact authority control in language archives.

On the Breakdown of the Controlled Environment Paradigm in Norwegian Archival Repositories

H. Andresen

Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

The rules and arrangements that govern transfer of digital records to the archive repositories in Norway, rely on a controlled environment paradigm. This paradigm is the basis for assuming the authenticity and evidential values of the archives. The concept of a paradigm is borrowed from the theory of science, but it can also be relevant to fields of practice. In the theory of science, it denotes distinct concepts, methods and thought patterns that guide what contributions are perceived as valid within a field. If or when a paradigm ceases to provide adequate guidance in a field, it may break down, possibly leaving the field in need of a new paradigm. The discussion in this paper apply a theory of different responses to paradigm breakdowns in order to explore stakes and opportunities at a point of crisis for the current paradigm on transfer of born-digital records to archive repositories.

Challenges in Organizing and Accessing Video Game Artifacts

J. H. Lee, M. Schmalz, S. Keating, J. Ha

University of Washington, United States of America

Artifacts created during the game development process are vital for understanding and appreciating the history and context of video games. However, few have explored how to organize and preserve the digital ephemera created during game development, critically endangering these media artifacts. Through interviews of various stakeholders interested in these types of artifacts, and examination of artifact collections, we explore the game development process. Participants discussed various challenges in organizing and finding game development artifacts for their work due to multiple factors: organization culture, the technical work environment, and a lack of standard vocabulary and practices. They also discussed the disconnect between game library, archive, and special collections lacking ways to note relationships among relevant materials. Based on these findings, we discuss two main implications from an organizational point of view.

An Exploration of Contributor-Created Description Field in Participatory Archives

A. K. Roeschley, J. Kim, O. L. Zavalina

University of North Texas, United States of America

Participatory archive initiatives are an emerging phenomenon in the ar-chives field. These initiatives are defined by the participation of the indi-viduals that archival materials are created by or about. This often includes the description of materials by their creators. However, participatory archival description brings forth several questions: What knowledge and insights can be gained about items in a digital collection when they are de-scribed by their record creators and contributors? And what risks are there when the data values for are not created in a standardized format? To answer these questions, this paper examined the outcome of participatory archival description – i.e., free-text description metadata field created by participatory archives’ contributors. Using the Boston Harbor Islands Mass. Memories Collection Dublin Core-based description metadata records, contributor-created Description field length and attributes were analyzed through a combination of quantitative and qualitative content analysis methods. Study results show that data value of contributor-created description metadata was dominated by utterances that provide contextual information regarding archival objects, particularly about the individuals and physical environment that contributors associate with the items, while item content itself can be under-described.

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