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Assessing the Loss – Digitizing Knowledge’s Design Review

Thanks to the Digitizing Knowledge team for taking the leap and hosting the first design review. Here’s a brief recap of what was discussed:

Colleen represented the “user” of the archives and spoke to us about her own experiences researching the US participation, and specifically the role of the University community, in the colonization of the Philippines. She talked about the “aura” and ephemeral nature of archives, and the ability to stumble upon related pieces of information when searching through a physical archive. She also introduced the power diagram the team created, and talked about the political ramifications of creating an archive. Many archives are created from the personal collection of documents donated to an institution, and the issue of who is included and who is excluded from the history that they capture is paramount.

Ricky gave a small presentation of digitizing archives, focusing on the choice to “go digital” rather than the actual technical process of turning things digital. Verifying access was a large concern – who can access the archive? How do we verify their intetions? Do we need to verify their intentions? Another large point was the privileging of textual documents in archive collections. The team hopes to focus on the digitization of images, which will help to increase the identification rate of these materials.

Kiara introduced the interview questions that the team hopes to use in the next stage of their project. As opposed to a traditional interview set up, they have constructed their questions to maximize the creation of a dialogue between the user of the archive and the creator of the archive, two groups that may not have been able to dialogue previously.

Urmilla then focused the group towards two areas of feedback the team was soliciting: the usefulness and structure of the presentation given here to help the team give the presentation in an extended format in March, and the format and content of their interview questions. Any feedback on the wrap was also welcome.

What did the group say? Check out the video in Bluestream!

Any further feedback for the team can of course be sent to the team, or to grocs.info@umich.edu

This week is a more laid back affair for the entire group to bond, chat informally and challenge one another in the epic arena of Rock Band.

Posted in Design Reviews by on the February 4th, 2009
GROCS: grant opportunities - collaborative spaces

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