Archives + Digital Curation Lecture Series Begins on Jan 25

Archives + Digital Curation Lecture Series Begins on Jan 25

Maryland’s iSchool is hosting a series of lectures covering various research areas in archives and digital curation. These lectures are free and open to the public. All presentations will be held at the second floor of Hornbake, South Wing, in room 2119 (from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.). We have a great lineup of speakers and topics, so please come and join us! Lecture abstracts and speaker bios are provided below.

  • Access to Public Sector Information: Digital Curation Challenges and Opportunities / Adam Kriesberg (Thursday, January 25, 2018 (10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119)
  • The Construction of Preservation Knowledge in Archival Practices of Analog Video Digitization / Zachariah Lischer-Katz (Monday, January 29, 2018 (10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119)
  • Towards Sustainable Platforms for Digital Humanities Research: Identifying Challenges and Opportunities in the Computational Representation of Cultural Collections / Katrina Fenlon (Wednesday, January 31​, 2018 (10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119)
  • Viral Cultures: Advancing Critical Information Scholarship on Archives, Memory, and New Media / Marika Cifor (Monday, February 5, 2018 ​(10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119)

Presentation Abstracts and Speaker Bios

Access to Public Sector Information: Digital Curation Challenges and Opportunities / Adam Kriesberg
Thursday, January 25, 2018 (10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119

Abstract: The rise of digital environments has changed the way people access public sector information, as well as the ways in which government organizations manage, curate, and preserve information under their control. As public sector information organizations work to expand their activities and services, they increasingly interact with technologies and infrastructure not necessarily designed to facilitate digital curation for government materials. However, the mission of government information organizations necessitates action on curating a range of digital objects for the long term. This talk will present results from two research projects, each approaching public sector digital curation from a different perspective. The first project, a survey of agricultural researchers, seeks to understand the state of data curation in this academic discipline and the relationship between US agricultural scientists and the federal government. The second, a study of social media data from the Barack Obama presidential administration, interrogates the role of the public sector in preserving digital materials from commercial web platforms. These two studies reflect my research agenda asking what the appropriate place of the private sector is in public information access, and how cultural institutions are working to adapt to a new digital paradigm.

Bio: Adam Kriesberg is a Lecturer at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies. His research focuses on the ways in which digital environments affect the preservation and curation of public sector information and research data. He received his PhD in 2015 from the University of Michigan School of Information and his undergraduate degree in History and Classics from Brown University. A 2016-2017 Research Data Alliance Data Share Fellow, his work has appeared in publications including Archival Science, The American Archivist, The International Journal of Digital Curation, and Data Science Journal.

The Construction of Preservation Knowledge in Archival Practices of Analog Video Digitization / Zachariah Lischer-Katz
Monday, January 29, 2018 (10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119

Abstract: Digitization and other archival activities are increasingly understood as interpretive practices that embed epistemological and cultural assumptions within archival collections. This talk introduces new research that explores the typically blackboxed archival context of the video preservation lab, an institutional space in which media archivists are tasked with digitizing analog video signals stored on decaying magnetic tapes. Media archivists must engage their eyes and bodies to form knowledge about the invisible signals and codes they work with, orchestrating complex interactions between the videotape, playback equipment, video scopes, and digitization components. Through a qualitative-interpretive approach, this research examines the construction of preservation knowledge through the eyes of the media archivists who do the work of digitization, and offers new understanding of how visual forms of knowledge emerge through institutionalized practices of sensing, judging, and acting.

Bio: Dr. Lischer-Katz’s research looks at practices of visual knowledge production, the curation of emergent visual media technologies, such as virtual reality and 3D formats, and the materiality of media artifacts and infrastructures. He is currently a Council on Library & Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation at University of Oklahoma Libraries, where his research looks at the adoption of virtual reality and 3D scanning technologies, examining their impact on research and pedagogy and establishing techniques for curating and archiving these complex new types of information resources. He received his PhD in Communication, Information & Library Studies from Rutgers University, School of Communication & Information, and his MA in Cinema Studies from New York University. From 2006 to 2012, he managed digitization and conservation projects for the film and video archives at NYU’s Cinema Studies Department and was an administrator and instructor for the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program.

Towards Sustainable Platforms for Digital Humanities Research: Identifying Challenges and Opportunities in the Computational Representation of Cultural Collections / Katrina Fenlon
Wednesday, January 31​, 2018 (10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119

Abstract: Scholarship is producing increasingly diverse digital artifacts as researchers across disciplines seek to share new forms of evidence in new ways. In tandem, our digital cultural inheritance is growing and diversifying rapidly. These developments pose urgent and interrelated problems for libraries, archives, and museums, as institutions charged with stewarding our scholarly and cultural records. Underlying these challenges is a fundamental question: how can we most effectively represent different kinds of collections as flexible, sustainable platforms for research and learning by various communities? This talk describes a multimodal study of one kind of collection common to digital scholarship in the humanities: the thematic research collection. Thematic research collections are collections of cultural sources gathered and developed by humanities scholars as platforms for research. They serve as hubs for collaboration, facilitate the publication and reuse of data, generate new lines of inquiry, and engage public audiences. They constitute a model for understanding the evolution of digital scholarship at the intersection of humanities research and digital cultural heritage. Through a typological analysis of a large sample of collections in tandem with a qualitative content analysis of representative collections, this study identifies how different types of collections serve different research purposes, and the implications for digital collections and archives more broadly. Through interviews with practitioners in digital humanities centers and libraries, this study identifies challenges to the sustainability and preservation of digital collections and proposes strategies for ensuring their long-lived contributions to scholarship and the cultural record.

Bio: Katrina Fenlon is a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she recently completed her PhD in Library and Information Science. Her research focuses on the representation and use of digital collections in different contexts, ranging from organizational and descriptive problems in large digital libraries, to the use and sustainability of highly curated digital humanities and cultural collections. Her prior work has investigated metadata semantics, analysis, and evaluation; the design, development, and use of cultural heritage aggregations and large-scale digital libraries; and library publishing and scholarly communication practices.

Viral Cultures: Advancing Critical Information Scholarship on Archives, Memory, and New Media / Marika Cifor
Monday, February 5, 2018 ​(10:30 - 11:30 am) / HBK 2119

Abstract: Through archives, records, and data produced within digital cultures, individuals and communities marginalized by sexuality, race, class, gender, and HIV status enact and give substance to their identities, collective memories, and social movements. In her talk, Marika Cifor will discuss her book manuscript and digital project, Viral Cultures: Critical Nostalgia, Activism, and the Archives of HIV/AIDS. This archival ethnography examines the critical potential of the emotions and memories recorded and produced by archives documenting 1980s and 1990s HIV/AIDS activism in the United States. Her inquiry focuses on the historical development of these collections, the connections of activists to their materials, and archivists’ and curators’ relationships to implicated communities. Additionally, it concentrates on the creative use and curation of archival materials by activists’ and artists’ on new media platforms. Cifor will also discuss how this project builds a critical information and technology studies research agenda around feminist approaches to health technology and data, and the activation of archives through digital humanities scholarship. This research contributes to the development of the skills and knowledge that students and professionals require to ethically and strategically advance information studies research and to design and manage information services, systems, technologies, and resources.

Bio: Marika Cifor is an interdisciplinary scholar of information, gender, and sexuality. Currently, she is the Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College. In June 2017, she earned her PhD in Information Studies and graduate certificates in the Digital Humanities and Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds an MS in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives Management and an MA in History from Simmons College, as well as BA in History and Political, Legal and Economic Analysis from Mills College. Cifor is working on a book manuscript and digital project that examines the critical potential of the emotions and memories that are recorded and produced by archives documenting HIV/AIDS activism in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. Her publications on archives, affect, data, and bodies have appeared in Archival Science, Archivaria, Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, Archives and Records, Archives and Manuscripts, The American Archivist, Library Trends, Australian Feminist Studies, and Transgender Studies Quarterly.