May 25, 2022

New Book, Open Access: “Paper Trails: The Social Life of Archives and Collections”

From UCL (University College London) Press Description:

Paper Trails brings together a diverse group of people both in its pages and its readership – researchers, practitioners and students – as well as featuring different historical collections (print, object and digital) held in a wide variety of different libraries, museums and archives. Its content is designed to bridge different communities of research and practice. The BOOC format creates a ‘living book’, which is entirely open access and evolves over time, allowing for different formats of pieces to speak in conversation.

The project enables collaboration between sometimes unlikely partners to help break down barriers and to open up the world of historical research. It reveals how the work and methodologies of researchers, academics, education practitioners and students interrelate, providing opportunities for collaborations beyond the usual parameters these fields present.

Paper Trails is organised around four different streams of content, which are:

1. Research Stories: Full-length research articles which encourage a focus on research stories to invite a reflective methodology, offering an inclusive and engaged commentary on the work involved in researching, ordering and preserving the past.

2. Co-production: Outputs from projects in which non-academic, undergraduate and taught postgraduate audiences collaborate with others (collection professions, academics, members of the public, etc.) to create new work that is based one research collections.

3. Collection Profiles: Shorter, descriptive or even narrative pieces that highlight items or collections of interest.

4. Engagement: Reflective pieces that focus on a broad range of engagement activities, from the professional’s perspective. These can be case studies, or ‘think pieces’ on particular skills or techniques.

Paper Trails was edited by Edited by Andrew W. M. Smith.

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Hat Tip: Information Literacy Weblog

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.