Five recent articles of interest…

(Image: Jeshu John, Designers Pics)

Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by the amount of material that is available for us to read or listen to with blogs, articles, conference papers, newsletters and recordings of presentations (among others) constantly available. We often don’t have the time or ability to access them straight away, so while the members of the Section on University and Research Institution Archives have a diverse range of interests, here are five recent items that might be of interest to you:

The Dorothy Howard Collection: revealing the structures of folklore archives in museums
Mike Jones, Kate Darian-Smith, Deborah Tout-Smith & Gavan McCarthy
Archives and Manuscripts, 13 June 2017
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01576895.2017.1328695

In 2015–16 researchers from the University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria undertook a collaborative project which sought to visualise archival data from the museum as a means to investigate the structure and context of the Dorothy Howard Collection. This article introduces Dorothy Howard’s work, which is part of the internationally significant Australian Children’s Folklore Collection, and looks at the project’s processes and outcomes, including the initial visualisations produced. In doing so, the authors highlight the data-intensive nature of such work, suggest the potential of visualisations to reveal collection structures, and outline possibilities for future projects and collaborations.

It’s How Many Terabytes?! A Case Study on Managing Large Born Digital Audio-visual Acquisitions
Laura Uglean Jackson, Matthew McKinley
The International Journal of Digital Curation, 9 November 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v11i2.391

In October 2014, the University of California Irvine (UCI) Special Collections and Archives acquired a born digital collection of 2.5 terabytes – the largest born digital collection acquired by the department to date. This case study describes the challenges we encountered when applying existing archival procedures to appraise, store, and provide access to a large born digital collection. It discusses solutions when they could be found and ideas for solutions when they could not, lessons learned from the experience, and the impact on born-digital policy and procedure at UCI Libraries. Working with a team of archivists, librarians, IT, and California Digital Library (CDL) staff, we discovered issues and determined solutions that will guide our procedures for future acquisitions of large and unwieldy born digital collections.

A Tale of Two Archives, Two Eras: The UC Berkeley Folklore Archives & The USC Digital Folklore Archives
Tok Thompson
Estudis de Literatura Oral Popular, 1 December 2016
http://revistes.publicacionsurv.cat/index.php/elop/article/view/1802

This article studies two recent folklore archives of California: the Folklore Archives of the University of California Berkeley, founded by Alan Dundes, and the Digital Folklore Archives of the University of Southern California, which I started up a few years ago. In this analysis, my goal is to place these files not only as sites of action, but also as actions in themselves with participants, contexts and influences. The University of California Berkeley Archive emerged as a time of social upheaval in America and American folklore, while the Archives of the University of Southern California appeared as an integral part of the digital and global culture change human Files are a fundamental part of folklore studies and studying them allows you to understand more the discipline and the role that it plays in the society that surrounds it and where it works and what it often says it represents. This brief report tries to serve to understand how folklore studies continue to adapt and how the archives can continue to be important and relevant to a changing world so quickly.

Barriers to Digital Preservation in Special Collections Departments
Katherine Fisher
Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture, 3 February 2017
https://doi.org/10.1515/pdtc-2016-0027

This essay selectively surveys recent findings on digital preservation in special collections settings and examines the challenges that prevent widespread implementation. Using the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s library to illustrate the situation facing many institutions, I discuss three types of barriers to digital preservation: workflow and procedural obstacles, resource limitations, and lack of buy-in.

Advancing Research Data Publishing Practices for the Social Sciences: From Archive Activity to Empowering Researchers
Veerle Van den Eynden and Louise Corti
International Journal on Digital Libraries, 25 May 2016
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00799-016-0177-3

Sharing and publishing social science research data have a long history in the UK, through long-standing agreements with government agencies for sharing survey data and the data policy, infrastructure, and data services supported by the Economic and Social Research Council. The UK Data Service and its predecessors developed data management, documentation, and publishing procedures and protocols that stand today as robust templates for data publishing. As the ESRC research data policy requires grant holders to submit their research data to the UK Data Service after a grant ends, setting standards and promoting them has been essential in raising the quality of the resulting research data being published. In the past, received data were all processed, documented, and published for reuse in-house. Recent investments have focused on guiding and training researchers in good data management practices and skills for creating shareable data, as well as a self-publishing repository system, ReShare. ReShare also receives data sets described in published data papers and achieves scientific quality assurance through peer review of submitted data sets before publication. Social science data are reused for research, to inform policy, in teaching and for methods learning. Over a 10 years period, responsive developments in system workflows, access control options, persistent identifiers, templates, and checks, together with targeted guidance for researchers, have helped raise the standard of self-publishing social science data. Lessons learned and developments in shifting publishing social science data from an archivist responsibility to a researcher process are showcased, as inspiration for institutions setting up a data repository.

If you have written, or know of, an article that you think will be of interest to SUV members, please either comment below or get in contact so it can be added to a future blog post!

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