Day 2 – Tuesday 8 December Track 3: Lose control, gain influence!
Collecting Institutions in the Network Society
Until September 2007 Chris Batt was Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), the development agency for the sector. Following its creation in 2000 the MLA had a pivotal role in many aspects of cultural heritage and ICT strategy. Chris originally joined national government in 1999 to lead the implementation of the highly successful £170m People’s Network project and while in the role of MLA’s Chief Executive continued to ensure involvement in digital strategy.
Between late 2007 and 2010, as a director of Chris Batt Consulting Ltd, he led research projects for the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) on audience analysis and modelling in digital content, the creation of a prototype wiki-based guide – Digipedia – to all aspects of digitisation. In 2009 a study assessing the value of university engagement with individuals and communities in the creation and curation of digital resources was also completed for the JISC.
Other recent work in the UK includes a review of ICT developments in the UK’s public libraries based on six published surveys of the use of technology Chris conducted between 1985 and 1999, lecturing and contributions to books and journals.
International projects and speaking engagements have included work in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, the USA, Iceland and a dozen countries across Europe.
In 1998 Chris was awarded the OBE for work in developing public ICT services. He am a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and in 2015 he was awarded a PhD by University College London for his research thesis Collecting Institutions in the Network Society.
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1862
The workshop will consider the findings of my PhD thesis, Collecting Institutions in the Network Society, research examining present practices and policies of collecting institutions (museums, galleries, libraries and archives) in their use and development of digital technologies, within the context of wider socio-technical change. It investigates whether existing service paradigms are best suited to future digital delivery of services in the emergent Network Society.
It examines differences between the organisational context, internal practices, histories and policies of collecting institutions, and the wider socio-technical impact of the Internet. Literature reviews provide evidence from the ‘outer world’ of Internet developments and impact to establish four Generic Drivers of Internet Change. For the ‘inner world’ of collecting institutions, organisational context and research and development on innovation are examined to analyse various perspectives on common approaches to service policy and practice. Additionally, textual analysis of institutional mission statements and policy documents is used to establish the degree of common purpose across collecting institutions and the preparedness of practitioners and policymakers to deal with rapid socio-technical change.
The evidence is synthesised to define an Institutional Paradigm describing the present operational processes and practices of collecting institutions. This is compared with the four Generic Drivers to define opportunities and challenges that collecting institutions face in exploiting the Internet. This synthesis demonstrates that the siloised and fragmented nature of the Institutional Paradigm creates significant barriers to effective exploitation. Evidence from the textual analysis is used to develop a Shared Mission Statement for all collecting institutions as the foundation of a strategic digital future.
The study proposes a radically new service paradigm (the Digital Knowledge Ecology) enabling collecting institutions to achieve maximum user value in their delivery of digital services, and concludes with proposals for actions to build a collective strategy.
Re-use of government information: which are the feasible business models for archival institutions?
Tjeerd Schiphof is a lawyer and assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam. He specializes in information law, more in particular in the legal aspects of media, cultural heritage, and government information.
“lex dura, sed lex”
A recent EU directive on the reuse of government information and the implementation of it in Dutch law, have brought about serious changes for archival institutions with regard to how they have to give access to government information, and what license conditions are allowed. As a result, is it possible to earn something with e.g. picture databases? Which business models are still feasible? Tjeerd Schiphof (University of Amsterdam, Archival and Information Studies), and Jeroen Padmos (National Archives of the Netherlands) will outline the legal boundary conditions and the current strategy of the National Archives of the Netherlands, and exchange ideas and experiences on the subject of giving access for reusing government information in the new legal constellation.
Claim your niche…NOW! A digital survival kit for memory institutions
Edwin Klijn & Puck Huitsing
Puck Huitsing studied history in Amsterdam and Change Management SIOO in Utrecht. She was director Eenheid Oorlogsgetroffenen en Herinnering Tweede Wereldoorlog (Unit War Victims and Remembrance WWII) at the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports from 2003 to 2010.
Between 2010 and 2013 Huitsing worked as interim manager (program director) at the Nationaal Archief (Dutch National Archives).
Since 2013 she is Director Collection and Services at the NIOD.
“How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?” – The Sound of Music
Edwin Klijn is working at NIOD as Project Manager of Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen. Previously, from 2009 to 2011, he was Project Manager for the project Databank Digital Daily Newspapers at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands). From 1999 he has been involved in several digitisation and preservation projects for the European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He is co-author of ‘In the Picture. Digitization and Preservation of European Photographic Collections’ (2000), ‘SEPIADES. Recommendations for cataloguing photographic collections’ (2003) and “Tracking the Reel World. A survey of audiovisual collections in Europe” (2008). He also published several articles on newspaper digitisation, imagebases and mass digitisation. Edwin Klijn has a master degree in Modern History and a postdoctoral degree in Historical Information Science.
“[I]nformation is not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom” – James Gleich, The Information
Reinvent yourself and discover new ways to reach your audience. Traditionally, memory institutions have been the generally acknowledged custodians of the remnants of our past. Apart from providing access to the collections, many gained detailed expertise on the interpretation of these collections. When going digital, everything changes. Within the digital domain people look for information, not primarily source materials. Online interpretation is democratized, so now experienced curators compete with Fluffy33. Open data and open access are the buzzwords, but what happens if everything is actually out in the open? Have all those long established institutions outlived themselves?
In this workshop new ways are explored for memory institutions to claim their niche in the digital domain. By focusing on a theme rather than on one single collection new opportunities are there for the taking: shared services and research infrastructures, crowdsourcing, cooperation with popular public platforms like Wikipedia, internationalization, etc. Puck Huitsing and Edwin Klijn are both involved in the development of a national cooperation platform for Second World War collections in the Netherlands called Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen. The Oorlogsbronnen-model can be applied to any other theme. Added value lies in a division of expertise tasks, datafication of knowledge by enriching metadata and one access to scattered collections and data. Get your digital survival kit and enjoy the 21th century!