The Technology and Archival Processing Symposium took place in Cambridge. MA on April
The world of libraries is being shaken by the digital age, changing patterns of readership, information retrieval, perhaps even brain circuitry.
The dance toward the digital drew archivists from around the world to Harvard on Thursday. The occasion was a two-day workshop on technology and archival processing at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
[The event was co-sponsored by ARL].
A historian, [Dan] Cohen is DPLA’s first executive director and he delivered the workshop’s first-day keynote address. Among his messages: The digital age is moving libraries from static repositories to dynamic platforms — “modern discovery systems,” he said, that are open, interoperable, international, and poised to absorb the “mass digitization” the future will bring.
To round out the afternoon, the attendees heard a panel of young scholars — two archivists and two historians — ruminate on a more technical issue: the digital transformation of “finding aids.” That may seem like a walk in the weeds, but the idea is simple. Finding aids are the tools — catalogs, calendars, and annotated lists — that describe the contents of a particular collection. Without them, researchers would be lost in a sea of paper, without a moon or stars or an astrolabe.
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