Sam Wilson's Website

next time someone approaches my team wanting to “make a digital archive” I’m just going to paste this in as an autoreply (from @archiviststan and @professorcaz “Critical Digital Archives: A Review from Archival Studies”)

We begin with the topic of materiality and infrastructure. From an archival studies perspective, digital archives are material problems—that is, they warrant a serious commitment to creating and maintaining material infrastructure. What many historians and digital humanities scholars call a “digital archive” would make archivists balk; scanned documents simply placed on a personal website, a hard drive, or—even worse from an archival perspective—a proprietary social media account do not constitute a “digital archive” unless there is a plan for preserving them across space and time, maintaining the context of their creation through metadata, and ensuring continual access to present and future users. For archivists, preservation and description are key ingredients in making a collection of records “archival”. Both of these archival functions require material infrastructure and labor.

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