Workshop 1

Personal Information Management and Personal Digital Archiving
Vanessa Reyes (Simmons College)
Monday, July 13, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
MITH Conference Room

Recommended Prerequisite Readings for Attendees:

  • Beagrie, Neil. 2005.”Plenty of Room at the Bottom? Personal Libraries and Digital Collections.” D-Lib Magazine 11.6.
  • Cox, Richard J. 2008. Personal archives and a new archival calling readings, reflections and ruminations. Duluth, Minn.: Litwin Books.
  • Jones, William P., and Jaime Teevan. Personal Information Management. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007.
  • Marshall, Catherine C. “Challenges and Opportunities for Personal Digital Archiving.” In I, Digital: Personal Collections in the Digital Era, ed. by Christopher Lee. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2011, 90-115.
  • _____.“How People Manage Information Over a Lifetime.” In Personal Information Management, ed. by: William Jones and Jaime Teevan. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007, 57-75.
  • “Personal Archiving: Preserving Your Digital Memories.” Library of Congress, Digital Preservation, 2013.” (accessed April 12, 2013).
  • Reyes, Vanessa. 2013 “We Created It, Now How Do We Save It? Issues in Preserving Personal Information, A Review”. Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture. 42 (3).

According to Neil Beagrie (2005), “personal digital archives,” describes informal, diverse, and expanding collections accumulated and maintained by individuals. The focus is on personal collections as a form of personal archiving. Additionally the act of archiving this information is called personal digital archiving, which is composed of information and content assembled by people from their private activities, work, and external communities. The archives can be used in the private and public spheres to reflect what Beagrie (2005) calls the “public and private personas of individuals.” The act of managing one’s own personal records is a form of preservation¬-so long as plans are made for the maintenance of the records. According to William Jones and Jaime Teevan (2007), “PIM is both the practice and the study of the activities people perform to acquire, organize, maintain, retrieve, use, and control the distribution of information items, such as documents (paper-based and digital), Web pages, and e-mail messages for everyday use to complete tasks (work-related and not), and to fulfill a person’s various roles (as parent, employee, friend, member of community, etc.)” (p. 2).

Richard Cox (2008, p. vii) suggests that personal archives might be assuming a new importance in society as the technical means for creating, maintaining, and using digital documents to become more cost effective than paper-based ones. As families seek to preserve their pasts, they are now storing and collecting what used to be in paper form, in digital form. However, personal digital archiving raises an array of concerns about their sustainability. Cox (2008) urges archivists to establish new partnerships that would allow the public to learn from archivists the basics of preserving their digital materials. The Library of Congress (LOC) and British Library share this goal. The LOC has created a web page for the public’s use that focuses on personal digital archiving and the importance of preserving one’s digital memories. How to preserve digital photographs, audio, video, electronic mail, personal digital records, and websites, are some of the topics covered.

This workshop will focus on creating an awareness of PIM by defining key problems and challenges associated with preserving personal digital information. Participants are encouraged to share issues they encounter while preserving personal digital collections so as to establish conversations on ways to make a sustainable difference in the PIM field.

Workshop objectives:

  • Defining what PIM is, and new research directions.
  • Introducing standards and frameworks for PIM.
  • Promoting PIM as a valuable field of inquiry.
  • Exploring ways in which PIM can be addressed in preservation and archives courses.