Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why Search an Archive?

The results of our exercise in categorizing why an archive is accessed. This classification can help serve as a starting point for understanding the steps/experience/ritual of accessing archives under different circumstances.
How does technology change the nature of what an archive is/how it is accessed/what and for who it is for?
*Digital analogies of physical archives include YouTube (a public archive) or external archives owned by individuals.

1. Research (targeted)
- Assignment
- Personal Interest
- Authority of Source Material: The authoritative version is somehow the curated and saved knowledge and can help in the search for confirmation or validation
- The archive can help us understand/interpret the present through our search of the past

2. Curiosity (exploratory)

3. Learning (exploratory/targeted)
- Status
- Identity building

4. Entertainment (exploratory/targeted)
- Nostalgia
- Kill time

5. Content Sourcing (targeted/exploratory)
- For the creation of new media

6. External Memory/Knowledge (targeted)
- Collection impulse

7. New Ways/Reasons
How does technology change the nature of the archive?
- Alternative classification, i.e. infographics, information aesthetics. Infographics help us understand a large amount of information at one time.
- Novel experience of search
- more fulfilling (?)

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