Friday, 18 March 2011

Personal Digital Archiving Conference 2011

I had the good fortune to attend the 2011 Personal Digital Archiving conference at the Internet Archive, along with other colleagues on the AIMS project, including Michael Forstrom from Yale and Michael Olson, Peter Chan, and Glynn Edwards from Stanford. The conference was exceptional, and had a great range of presentations ranging from those on fairly pragmatic topics to the highly theoretical. There are a number of other blogs with comprehensive notes on the conference, and the conference's organizers have already provided a detailed listing of those. Instead, I'd just like to focus on what I considered the highlights of the conference.
  • Cathy Marshall's keynote was excellent. I have seen her speak before, and she presented an survey of her ongoing research into personal digital archives.
  • Jeremy Leighton John presented on work undertaken since the Digital Lives project at the British Library.
  • Judith Zissman presented on "agile archiving", similar to agile development, wherein individuals can continually refine their archival practices.
  • Birkin Diana presented on how Brown University is working to make their institutional repository a space for personal materials, and strategies that allow users to work on adding metadata iteratively.
  • Daniel Reetz presented on his DIY Book Scanner project, but also brought in detailed technical analysis about how image sensors in digital cameras work and how our brains process image data.
  • Jason Zalinger introduced the notion of Gmail as a "story-world" and presented some prototype tools and games to help navigate that world.
  • Cal Lee presented on introducing education about digital forensics to the archival curriculum.
  • Kam Woods also presented on applying digital forensics to the archival profession.
  • Sam Meister presented on the complex ethics of using forensics in acquiring and processing the records from start-up companies.
In addition, I presented with Amelia Abreu on "archival sensemaking", which introduces the notion of personal digital archiving practice as an iterative, context-bound process.

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