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Participatory Archives



The rise of digitisation and social media over the past decade has fostered the rise of participatory and DIY digital culture. Likewise, the archival community leveraged these new technologies, aiming to engage users and expand access to collections. This book examines the creation and development of participatory archives, its impact on archival theory, and present case studies of its real world application.
Participatory Archives: Theory and practice is divided into four sections with each focused on a particular aspect of participatory archives: social tagging and commenting; transcription; crowdfunding; and outreach & activist communities. Each section includes chapters summarizing the existing literature, a discussion of theoretical challenges and benefits, and a series of case studies. The case studies are written by a range of international practitioners and provide a wide range of examples in practice, whilst the remaining chapters are supplied by leading scholars from Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
This book will be useful for students on archival studies programs, scholarly researchers in archival studies who could use the book to frame their own research projects, and practitioners who might be most interested in the case studies to see how participatory archives function in practice. The book may also be of interest to other library and information science students, and similar audiences within the broader cultural heritage institution fields of museums, libraries, and galleries.

1 Defining and framing participatory archives in archival science Edward Benoit III and Alexandra Eveleigh
2 Social tagging and commenting in participatory archives: a critical literature review Alex H. Poole
3 Social tagging and commenting: theoretical perspectives Ina-Maria Jansson and Isto Huvila
4 Project Naming: reconnecting indigenous communities with their histories through archival photographs Beth Greenhorn
5 (Hash)tagging with the users: participatory collection of digital social photography in museums and archives Bente Jensen, Elisabeth Boogh, Kajsa Hartig and Anni Wallenius
6 Engaging curation: a look at the literature on participatory archival transcription Sumayya Ahmed
7 Subtle transformations: increasing participation and access through transcription Lorraine A. Dong
8 Crowdsourcing metadata for time-based media in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting Casey Davis Kaufman and Karen Cariani
9 Participatory transcription in Amsterdam and Copenhagen Nelleke van Zeeland and Signe Trolle Gronemann
10 Kickstarting archives: crowdfunding and outreach in the digital age Heather L. Barnes
11 Crowdfunding and the moral economies of community archival work Stacy Wood
12 Acquiring equipment for obsolete media through crowdsourcing Laura Alagna
13 Thinking outside the box: crowdfunding the Peter Mackay Archive Karl Magee
14 Degrees of mediation: a review of the intersectionality between community and participatory archives Edward Benoit III and Ana Roeschley
15 Activist participatory communities in archival contexts: theoretical perspectives Andrew Flinn and Anna Sexton
16 Documenting a social movement in real time: the Preserve the Baltimore Uprising 2015 archive project Jessica Douglas
17 Community partnerships and collection development in the Legacy of Ahmed Project Hannah Niblett and Jennifer Vickers
18 Challenges, opportunities and future directions of participatory archives Edward Benoit III and Alexandra Eveleigh

Edward Benoit, III is assistant professor at the School of Library & Information Science at Louisiana State University. He is the coordinator of both the archival studies and cultural heritage resource management MLIS specializations. He received an MA in history, MLIS, and PhD in information studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research focuses on participatory and community archives, nontraditional archival materials, and archival education. He is the founder and director of the Virtual Footlocker Project that examines the personal archiving habits of the 21st century soldier in an effort to develop new digital capture and preservation technologies to support their needs.
Alexandra Eveleigh is Collections Information Manager at Wellcome Collection in London, where her role complements her research interests in user experiences and digital technologies in library, archive and museum contexts. From 2014 to 2016, she held academic positions in Information Studies and Digital Humanities at University College London and the University of Westminster respectively, following her PhD research at UCL in collaboration with The National Archives entitled 'Crowding Out the Archivist? Implications of Online User Participation for Archival Theory and Practice' (2015). Prior to this, she worked in both university and local government archives in the United Kingdom, and was awarded a 2008 Winston Churchill Fellowship in connection to her work on born digital archives.

'Participatory archives is a well-crafted and readable book which provides the first in-depth study and review of participatory archives and their relationship with the main stream archives whilst analysing them and their success on their own terms. It promises to be the authority on participatory archives for the foreseeable future and will always serve as a benchmark for the first wave of participatory archive activity in the Web 2.0 world.'

Taylor & Francis Online

'Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a listing of the contributors and their credentials, thirty-eight pages of notes, and a six page index, Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice would well serve as a Library Science supplemental studies curriculum textbook. Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice is unreservedly recommended for library staff in-service training programs, as well as the Library Science collections of corporate, governmental, college and university libraries and library systems.'

Midwest Book Review

'This volume offers an overview of the literature and theory of participatory archives, followed by concrete examples in practice...Each chapter includes a rich bibliography guiding the reader to the broader literature related to different aspects of participatory archives...Participatory Archives...contributes significantly to the archival literature, especially in the current context of digital transformations focusing on openness, participation, and collaboration.'

The American Archivist

'The case studies were the highlight of this book. From work with indigenous Nunavut communities on Project naming to a Halloween-themed drive for obsolete media (#UndeadTech), each of these stories inspired, cautioned and celebrated the creativity and scope of archival work....I would feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone in the GLAM sector who wats a balanced view of the pros, and cons, of participatory metadata creation.'


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