The large-scale digitization of analogue archives, the emerging diverse forms of born-digital archive, and the new ways in which researchers across disciplines (as well as the public) wish to engage with archival material, are resulting in disruptions to transitional archival theories and practices. Increasing quantities of ‘big archival data’ present challenges for the practitioners and researchers who work with archival material, but also offer enhanced possibilities for scholarship through the application of computational methods and tools to the archival problem space, and, more fundamentally, through the integration of ‘computational thinking’ with ‘archival thinking’.
These workshops will explore the conjunction (and its consequences) of emerging methods and technologies around big data with archival practice and new forms of analysis and historical, social, scientific, and cultural research engagement with archives. We aim to identify and evaluate current trends, requirements, and potential in these areas, to examine the new questions that they can provoke, and to help determine possible research agendas for the evolution of computational archival science in the coming years. At the same time, we will address the questions and concerns scholarship is raising about the interpretation of ‘big data’ and the uses to which it is put, in particular appraising the challenges of producing quality – meaning, knowledge and value – from quantity, tracing data and analytic provenance across complex ‘big data’ platforms and knowledge production ecosystems, and addressing data privacy issues.
Topics covered by these workshops include, but are not restricted to, the following:
– Application of analytics to archival material, including text-mining, data-mining, sentiment analysis, network analysis.
– Analytics in support of archival processing, including appraisal, arrangement and description.
– Scalable services for archives, including identification, preservation, metadata generation, integrity – checking, normalization, reconciliation, linked data, entity extraction, anonymization and reduction.
– New forms of archives, including Web, social media, audiovisual archives, and blockchain.
– Cyber-infrastructures for archive-based research and for development and hosting of collections
– Big data and archival theory and practice
– Digital curation and preservation
– Crowd-sourcing and archives
– Big data and the construction of memory and identity
– Specific big data technologies (e.g. NoSQL databases) and their applications
– Corpora and reference collections of big archival data
– Linked data and archives
– Big data and provenance
– Constructing big data research objects from archives
– Legal and ethical issues in big data archives