And We’re Off

On a good one to boot.

For those of you who have yet to see it this is the question from Prof. Galey’s Blog, and yes it is all about creating a diary just like Kristin Luker recommended at the end of her first chapter. So I thought that I would write out what my research interests are and we can go from there.

Before coming to the iSchool my areas of research were focusing on public law (Canadian Constitutional Law) and Intellectual Property. I was not really sure how those two intersect, until that is I heard a news story about the Ontario Privacy Commissioner condemning actions taken by Liberal executive staff members in regards to destruction of records (in this case emails). After this my research interest has developed into the following:

1. The ephemeral nature of electronic and social media documentation and the effect that this nature will have on the inability of Record Managers and/or Archivists to be able to recognize documents as significant and in need of preservation. The use of social media by individuals, institutions, and political figures, and the ways in which they regard the social media’s use as records. Is a tweet a record according to government agencies? Is Twitter obligated to keep and provide access to an individuals tweet, or can they destroy records without consultation with the user that created them? How are Institutions handled by social media sites. Can any representative make changes or is it a user specific function. At the Institution do many people have access to the account or is it held by a single individual.

2.  The importance in being able to preserve e-records as documents and the way in which it will be possible to preserve the original intention of the document. Does migration ruin the intention of the document? At what point is migration not acceptable (ie at what point does the act of migrating destroy the document).

Then perhaps a little bit more randomly:

3. The process of the binder and how that role in publication has changed throughout time.

4. How the use of texts has changed from manuscript to book, to electronic. What are they used for, how is that important.


Ok, so clearly the first two are more fully developed then the last two, but I still have this problem: Yes I love electronic documents, they are small and compact and do not take up shelf space, yet for some documents the significance is only in the original, no amount of digitization can produce the same experience as holding a map that was actually used by someone, or holding a 500 year old book. There is something in the physical object that puts you in awe of it, and digitization just cannot replicate that.


Well that’s all for me today,


Ben S.


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Filed under Blogging Question, Week 2

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