Online from: 1949
Subject Area: Library and Information Studies
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|Title:||The personal curation of digital objects: A lifecycle approach|
|Author(s):||Peter Williams, (CIBER, Department of Information Studies, University College, London, UK), Jeremy Leighton John, (Department of Western Manuscripts, Directorate of Scholarship & Collections, The British Library, London, UK), Ian Rowland, (CIBER, Department of Information Studies, University College, London, UK)|
|Citation:||Peter Williams, Jeremy Leighton John, Ian Rowland, (2009) "The personal curation of digital objects: A lifecycle approach", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 61 Iss: 4, pp.340 - 363|
|Keywords:||Collections management, Digital storage, Individual psychology, Information exchange, Information facilities|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/00012530910973767 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The Digital Lives Research Project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Grant Number BLRC 8669. The authors are grateful to Jamie Andrews, Alison Hill, Rob Perks and Lynn Young of the British Library for pointing out some references and for their enthusiasm and advice.|
Purpose – This paper aims to set out a coherent intellectual framework to help to better understand how people create, organise, manage, use and dispose of their personal digital archives. The context for this is the increasing volume and diversity of digital information objects being captured and stored by individuals in their personal capacities and the need to find ways to preserve this material for posterity.
Design/methodology/approach – The research presented here is based on literature analysis, the questions having been informed by an earlier series of in-depth interviews. The approach taken is to synthesise key concepts from the computer science, information management, and archives and records management literatures. Key concepts from the existing literature in computer science, information management, and archives and records management were elicited and synthesised to create a coherent document lifecycle narrative.
Findings – Individuals exhibit great diversity in terms of personal information management and digital archiving practice at just about every point in the digital information cycle: much more so than is the case in formal repositories. Practices exhibited are not always conducive to efficient document management. This represents a very keen challenge for professional curatorial practice.
Practical implications – Little is known about how individuals manage digital information resources in their personal capacity, outside of their corporate or institutional employment. Yet both individuals on their own and professional curators on behalf of repositories are increasingly being faced with the challenge of how to deal with digital media. It is hoped that this paper will contribute to a growing debate in this area.
Originality/value – Personal information management from the perspective of personal digital archives is a surprisingly under-researched area and the proposed model adopts an archival information lifecycle approach. It seeks to apply and promote an archivally-oriented personal information management.
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