Keynote Speakers

yakel_beth-104_5x7Elizabeth Yakel
Research Ecosystems and Archival Research

Monday, July 13 / 9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
McKeldin Library Special Events Room, 6th Floor Rm. 6137

AERI is about strengthening the archival educational and research enterprises. In this keynote, I will discuss how archival research fits into different ecosystems, large and small, moving from society to academia to the archival profession to practice. The keynote begins broadly by highlighting societal implications of archival research, it then addresses existing research infrastructures externally before discussing the role of research in the archival profession. I next address research in/of/for/about archives and its relationship to theory and practice. I end by highlighting major discontinuities and priority needs.

Elizabeth Yakel, Ph.D. is Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan School of Information where she teaches in the Archives and Records Management and Digital Preservation areas. Her research interests include access to digital archives and reuse or research data. In her research, she has pioneered the development of standardized metrics to enhance repository processes and measure the impact of archival collections. Dr. Yakel recently ended a research project entitled “Dissemination Information Packages for Information Reuse” (funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)) which focused on research data reuse and digital preservation in three academic communities: quantitative social scientists, archaeologists, and zoologists. The goal of this research was to identify the significant properties that support preservation of the bits as well as the meaning of digital data over time. She is now embarking on another IMLS-funded project: “Qualitative Data Reuse: Records of Practice in Educational Research and Teacher Development,” which examines the varied uses of educational records of practice, particularly digital video of classroom activities. Dr. Yakel is active in the Society of American Archivists (SAA) where she served on the governing council and was elected a Fellow in 1999.

Dr BertotJohn Bertot
eGovernment: Implications for the Archival Sphere

Tuesday, July 14 / 9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
McKeldin Library Special Events Room, 6th Floor Rm. 6137

An increasingly digital government (eGovernment) that harnesses interactive technology, engages its citizens, works through public-private partnerships, leverages open data, and promotes the use of “smart” technologies is turning our information policies and the notion of the information lifecycle on their heads. We have entered a new era of preservation, one that redefines the notion of a record — and the public record — from a linear model based on finite points from creation to disposition to one that is continuous and ongoing. Moving forward, we will have difficulty in identifying a discrete beginning and end point to our policies, our records, our documents, our materials. The steady march towards eGovernment means that we need to rethink what it is to preserve our record and ensure an open, transparent, and accountable government that increasingly relies on ongoing conversations with its citizens and information and data that are diffused across a range of technologies and partners. This presentation focuses on the implications of eGovernment on the archival sphere.

John Carlo Bertot is Co-Director of iPAC and Professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. Dr. Bertot received his Ph.D. from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. His research spans information and telecommunications policy, e-government, government agency technology planning and evaluation, and library planning and evaluation. Dr. Bertot is President-elect of the Digital Government Society of North America (DGSNA), serves as chair of the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) Library Performance Indicator working group, and serves as a member of the National Information Standards Organization’s (NISO) Business Information Topic committee. Dr. Bertot is past Chair of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Research Round Table, and currently serves on the ALA Committee on Research and Statistics and E-government Services Subcommittee. In addition, Dr. Bertot is Editor of both Government Information Quarterly and The Library Quarterly. Over the years, Dr. Bertot has received funding for his research from the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Government Accountability Office, the American Library Association, and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

kirschenbaum_matt_07102009_015_fixMatthew G. Kirschenbaum
Green-Screeners: Locating the Literary History of Word Processing

Wednesday, July 15 / 9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
McKeldin Library Special Events Room, 6th Floor Rm. 6137

I suppose that my fiction will be word-processed by association, though I myself will not become a green-screener,” John Barth told the Paris Review in 1985. But just a few years later he did, not only switching to a word processor but exploring the machine as a subject in subsequent fiction. This lecture, drawn from my forthcoming book Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, interweaves a narrative of word processing’s introduction to the literary world–we will see that Barth’s story, both his abrupt turn-around and his fear of guilt by association is typical–with a consideration of practical problems in doing research at the intersection of literary and technological history, especially the changing nature of the archive as primary source material becomes itself “born-digital.” Along the way we will take a look at Stephen King’s Wang, John Updike’s trash, and the 200-pound writing machine that produced the first word processed novel in English.

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH, an applied thinktank for the digital humanities). He is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. His first book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, was published by the MIT Press in 2008 and won the 2009 Richard J. Finneran Award from the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS), the 2009 George A. and Jean S. DeLong Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), and the 16th annual Prize for a First Book from the Modern Language Association (MLA). Kirschenbaum speaks and writes often on topics in the digital humanities and new media; his work has received coverage in the Atlantic, Slate, New York Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio, Wired, Boing Boing, Slashdot, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His current book project is entitled Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, and is under contract to Harvard University Press (forthcoming 2016); with Pat Harrigan, he is also co-editing a volume on wargaming for MIT Press entitled Zones of Control (forthcoming 2016). He is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. See for more.

FerriterMeghan Ferriter
Product or Process?: Creating Pathways and Catalyzing Adventure in the Archives with the Smithsonian Transcription Center

Thursday, July 16 / 9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
McKeldin Library Special Events Room, 6th Floor Rm. 6137

In what ways might crowdsourcing and knowledge-sharing inform cultural heritage professional practice? The Smithsonian Transcription Center is a constantly accessible, cultural heritage project: a combination of technology, a series of services, and program of engagement. It blends the stories of history, art, and science to generate data for Smithsonian Institution collections – for improved use by researchers, staff, and the public. The goal? To create indexed, searchable text. The outcome: Deep engagement, discovery, and new questions about connections and stories from within the archives. Over the last two years, the pursuit of the product of transcription (and review!) has informed the processes and participation for volunteers, as well as cultural heritage professionals. The process has also improved the creation of the final product. The flexible space and variety of collections means that choosing one’s own adventure is an option at every visit. Yet, creating a space that brings together cultural heritage, archival collections, and distributed volunteers is an exploit that involves uncertainty. Is it worth the risk? This discussion explores the experiences of staff, volunteers, and the impact of iterative workflows. What are the limits, gaps, and as-yet unexplored potential of crowdsourcing engagement with cultural heritage collections?

Dr. Meghan Ferriter is an interdisciplinary researcher who currently cultivates programs of engagement and advises on workflow as Project Coordinator for the Smithsonian Transcription Center. She collaborates with volunteers and staff to increase access to and interaction with Smithsonian Institution collections. Meghan also shares with the wider cultural heritage, digital humanities, and citizen science communities the goal of increased knowledge-sharing and improving experiences in collaborative activities like crowdsourced transcription. Her primary research explores the communication of cultural beliefs through media technologies and in media discourse; and the ways groups learn and refine understanding of social relationships through these resources – whether through political cartoons, newspaper discourse, hashtags, or user-generated content. Meghan’s research examines social identities and boundaries; processes of cultural change; language, power, representation, and discourse; and sport and popular culture. Trained as an anthropologist and cultural historian, Meghan’s doctoral thesis explored the extent of change in discourses of mediated sport. Meghan also loves to tease out the potential of and trouble practices surrounding digital media and communication technologies, computer-mediated communication and participatory culture, and developing qualitative research methods. Her recent research explores communities communicating in digital platforms including Tumblr and Twitter and crowdsourcing and citizen science best practices.