Mundanities of Digital Archive Research

2 June 2011 (2nd of 2 sessions on date)
6pm to 9pm -Room 407, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT

Abstract:
What are the commonplaces of a research visit to any archive? How does the digital affect our research? This workshop explores the possibility of “contingencies” that could have some effects in our research. It will develop an attempt as to how to prepare and anticipate digital and analogical unexpected events in the process of doing research. Digital conversions, formats and media effects are peppered by mundane issues that affect the archival experience and that increase the archive fever. Accessibility and potentiality to use the research is frequently dependent on different approximations to the archive as an institution. Self-reflexivity in our practices enables us to be aware of the limits of the digital and the potential that exists in combining mediums to complete and circumscribe our research, a reflexivity that will help us in the attempt to convert information and data into knowledge.

Dr Jose Bellido is lecturer in law. He is the Spanish national editor to the digital archive (together with Professor Raquel Xalabarder from the Universidad Oberta Catalunya (UOC) and Ramon Casas Valles from the Universitat de Barcelona). This is a digital archive of primary sources on copyright from the invention of the printing press (c.1450) to the Berne Convention (1886) and beyond, which can be accessed at Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer. The national editor has responsibility for selecting, sourcing, transcribing, translating and commenting on documents. These include privileges, statutes, judicial decisions, contracts and materials relating to legislative history, but also contemporary letters, essays, treatises and artefacts.

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