How to archive for the future? Daniel Caron and Eric Mechoulan at Berkman

Liveblogged from lunch talk at Berkman

Daniel Caron explains that disintermediation makes things much more difficult for archives. Previously, archives waited for material to come to them – saw their role as beginning after the selection process. Now, if archives are to be able to perform effectively, they need to be much more active in the selection of material. There are three big effects of disintermediated digital publishing:

  1. “Here comes everybody” – there are fewer filters that archives can rely on to select works;
  2. There are fewer official interventions in the organisation of material – classification and description;
  3. Access has also become more direct and less mediated – people no longer want to talk to people behind a counter to access archives.

Archives are struggling to triage or select material – they have gone from receiving easily understandable information to a superabundance of information:

As literacy and technological capacity increase, we go from relatively meaningful, understandable and masterable traces to noise.