Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Annotated Bibliography of Archival Description Part 6 of 6

This post is part of an annotated bibliography about archival description. Please click below to read further:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Pitti, D. (2005). Technology and the transformation of archival description. Journal of Archival Organization 3(2/3), 9-22.

Pitti, Associate Director, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia, suggests liberating archival description from the limits of traditional media through technology by integrating the functional strengths of markup and database technologies. Traditional archival description has employed a “single records-oriented apparatus,” such as the finding aid, which describes all records with a common creator, which can be complicated for mixed-provenance records. Pitti notes that by developing semantics and structures for records and their complex interrelations, flexible, dynamic, and sustainable descriptive systems can be created which are more useful than traditional finding aids.

Yeo, G. (2008). Custodial history, provenance, and the description of personal records. Libraries & the Cultural Record 44(1), 50-64.

Yeo, Lecturer, Department of Information Studies, University College London, argues that traditional methods of description do not capture the complex provenance of personal papers, such as those of Sir Richard Fanshaw (1608-66). Archivists need to reinterpret traditional binary distinctions between “organic” fonds and “artificial” collections with more complex relationships of the records; fonds are groups determined by context of creation, while collection is determined by custodianship. To assess the challenges of description, Yeo surveyed 120 description projects at 46 UK archival institutions by University College London graduate students from 2003 to 2007. He found that their provenance lacked information about the nature and historical development of the collection and its custodial history.

Works Cited

MacNeil, H. (1995). Metadata strategies and archival description: Comparing apples to oranges. Archivaria 39, 22.

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