Accepted Paper:

Folklore archives in the digital era  

Author:

Lauri Harvilahti (Finnish Literature Society)

Paper short abstract:

Internet is at present among the most essential links in the circulation chain of the tradition, and the role of the folklore archives is to find solutions in order to store the essential documents representing the social memory of our own time.

Paper long abstract:

Folklore archives in the digital era

Lauri Harvilahti

The materials in the folklore archives have traditionally existed in the form of friable paper, brittle sound tapes, or fragile photographs. However, during the past decades we have met the challenges of the digital era. Traditionally, the main role of folklore archives has been to protect the collected items and making them accessible. In the future fulfilling this task will be difficult without creating proper criteria and practices for maintaining digitized records and born-digital culture. Incredible amounts of born-digital content are created at present. The web-sites, Open Graph, or Linked Open Data Clouds of the Web provide unprecedented possibilities for distributing and linking data, and for making it accessible. However, does the open and linked - and ephemeral - world of the Internet meet the primary task of an archive: to store, maintain and manage the records? Internet is at present among the most essential links in the circulation chain of the tradition, and the role of the folklore archives is to find solutions in order to store the essential documents representing the social memory of our own time. The archives are facing a difficulty to decide how, what and by what means material should be archived. The main concern is to establish necessary standards and practices for management and long-term storage of the folklore of the Internet era. Best practices may be created by sharing experiences in an international network of folklore archives.

Panel P51
The role of archives in the circulation chain of tradition