Events by the SIEF Working Group on Archives
ARCHIVES, ACCESS, ETHICS AND FRAUD
Quod oculus non videt, cor non dolet?
A SIEF Archives Working Group Conference
Amsterdam, October 21 – 23, 2020
Organised by: Meertens Instituut, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Call for papers
Both traditional paper archives and modern digital archives provide access to as much data and metadata as possible. They serve researchers and interested parties. While traditional archives are still bound by opening times, the digital archives make their data available 24/7. Full open access is the new academic ideal: documents and scientific articles should always be available online for free for everyone. Nevertheless, several obstacles and restrictions are conceivable. To begin with, the user must know where to look: where can the relevant data be found? The amount of data can be so large and inconceivable that analysis by the human brain is not feasible, and computational tools need to be used to make patterns in digital big data visible. Another issue is data management: how is data stored and in what format? Not every data format is fit for every researcher. Finally there are publishers who like to put up pay walls that in many cases obstruct free exchange of information and research. The next question is whether we want to and can put everything online. We cannot simply take a press photo, a newspaper report, a novel or a diary and put it online: the makers are protected by copyright according to European guidelines up to 70 years after their death. For example, recent songs may not be freely included in databases and put online, unless payment is made for the rights. Many personal data from, for example, storytellers and singers are also protected for privacy reasons, while such information is often vital for researchers when analyzing personal repertoire. What ethical rules apply to the collectors and researchers? For instance, there are also (often unwritten) ethical rules that ensure that certain texts or images remain invisible. Think of documents with a controversial, fascist, racist, sexist, pornographic or violent content. Moreover, in some countries there is regulation regarding blasphemy, lese majesty and national treason. Shielding such material is understandable, but on the other hand does not do justice to the reality of the culture of daily life. Folklore also has its black fringes, and by obscuring it, a false and nostalgic positive image of folk culture is wrongly created. How do archives deal with European legislation on privacy and copyright? And how do they deal with controversial material? And if such material is kept away, what ethical rules are applied? To what extent does the saying “Quod oculus non videt, cor non dolet” apply here? (What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve about).
Participants of the conference of the SIEF working group on Archives
may want to focus on the following subjects:
- how to find (your way into) an archive
- access to data in general
- data management
- online (open) access policies
- online databases, search engines and visualization tools
- computational tools to analyse big data
- methods of adding metadata to collections
- controversial collections and how to handle them
- ethics concerning collecting, archiving and analyzing
- the study of the ‘dark side’ of folklore and culture
The deadline for abstracts is set on April 1, 2020.
Please send you abstracts to: Theo.Meder(a)Meertens.knaw.nl
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