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Wednesday, November 6 • 5:30pm - 6:10pm
S1-09 Digital Archives: What Researchers Need from Platforms

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This presentation offers a librarian’s perspective on what researchers need when using digitized historical materials online. Digital archive products already do much well, but there is also always room for change and improvements of one kind or another, whether of a technical, descriptive, or conceptual nature. This talk will encompass issues of user experience but also go beyond them in addressing the research process more broadly and commenting on the ways in which digital archive products do or do not facilitate that process in the present moment.

Without question, the digitization of historical materials has significantly altered the landscape of scholarly research for humanists and humanistic social scientists. Previously distant archives can be consulted and used as never before. But what happens when, for instance, some of an object’s archival description is missing, the original order of a series of documents is obscured, or the ability to browse related materials is lost in the online environment? These and related questions will be put forward by this presentation, which will outline the features and functions of digital archives most needed to support scholarly research. Successful elements of digital archives that are already in place as well as those that are yet to be developed, refined, or implemented will both be covered. The main takeaway will be a listing of the key features and functions of digital archives around which librarians, vendors, and scholars can all collaborate further going forward.

avatar for James Kessenides

James Kessenides

Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, Yale University Library

Wednesday November 6, 2019 5:30pm - 6:10pm EST
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel