Digital Research Growth Network
Cambridge Digital Humanities proposes a Network programme exploring the challenges and opportunities of digital transformations of the archive and the collection. This is a process impacting texts and material texts, the tools for archiving and researching, the production of knowledge and its interpretation.
To investigate the archive of the future is to think about new archival practices and their implications. It is to do so both in relation to emerging forms and in relation to new material, and to relation to the archives that are already held. The network responds to this two-way perspective using it to organise a series of activities focussed on Library collections and extending into other Cambridge collections, including those curated together through the Galleries, Gardens, Libraries, Archives, Museums Digital Champions network.
Why now? The wider societal contexts of the network include rising demands that people re-think the past and re-assess their self-knowledge, and these include questions about holdings (what is held in stone, what is held in data, what is catalogued in Libraries and collections) that are being raised with increasing urgency. Which lives mattered? Which were lost? For instance.
Digital technologies are integral to this moment – networks are partly why and how these issues are raised (and also why they are so easily forgotten or their priority continuously displaced), archival footage revives older memories in new ways, algorithmic operations on big data, which may exhibit not machinic neutrality but collective human bias, are increasingly influential. But digital technologies also offer ways to respond this moment – and to do so in fresh and productive ways. A sense of digital technologies’ potential to be curative is key to this network. In it the Network sets out to work with various collections to explore how the possibilities of digital tools and techniques can be exploited to find new perspectives and new ways to research.
No, this infrastructure does not provide funding.
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