Author:Tove Ørsted (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland)
Paper short abstract:
While digitization make archival material more accessible through online platforms we take the risk of making it misleadeing or limiting at the same time. How can we meet the new possibilities of digitization and still be trustworthy?
Paper long abstract:
As an ethnologist working with digitization of photographic material one of my personal goals is to publish as much material as possible with no or very few restrictions, so that anyone can find it and use it as they please, regardless of where they are or what they do. This allows for amazing possibilities but how can we ensure that future research will continue to be diverse while some of the material is easily accessible on the internet and some material remains hidden in the physical archives?
The archive holds a huge responsibility to grant researchers equal access to material. Until recently, archives have been reached through physical visits and you would be guided by a professional who knows the material quite well. All relevant material would be presented to you personally. While this kind of service serves the researchers well, it limits them to local sources while material in more distant locations might be unused. Today the situation is sometimes reversed. Digitized material can travel around the world without boundaries, we are no longer limited by location, but the material we find is limited and most likely picked out and pre selected from larger collections. Digital material from one specific area might be misleading.
I would like to discuss how we can meet the new possibilities of digitization but at the same time hold on to the value of traditional archives.
The role of archives in the circulation chain of tradition