Next month, I’ll be presenting a paper at the 17th Brazilian Congress on Archival Science. I just submitted the following title and abstract for my remarks. (The service I will describe has received pilot funding from the University of Illinois Library Innovation Fund.)
Facilitating the Generation of Archives in the Facebook Age
If the goal of records preservation in the digital age is to preserve evidence of human activity—as it must be—most archival work must take place before electronic records are accepted by an archives. Otherwise, there will be no record left to preserve, or, in the best case, there will be an inadequate, unrepresentative, and inapt record—that is also difficult to preserve. This problem is particularly pressing because the formal recordkeeping systems previously used by many organizations for electronic records have died or have one foot firmly in the grave. At the same time, the habits that individuals use in producing, consuming, storing, filing, searching, and interpreting records are themselves undergoing constant change. People adopt new communication technologies at an ever-quickening pace. Divergent personal practices, rather than the centralized electronic systems, are the harsh reality that confronts our profession.
Archivists and all of humanity have a shared interest in building tools that facilitate the aggregation, management, and control of dispersed records sharing a common provenance. This paper will outline the conceptual model one such service, which might be dubbed “myKive” (My Archive). The talk will list functions that the service would provide, outline its core architecture, and describe a potential model for its development and sustenance.