Publisher:
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Publication date:
2021-02-01

Latest documents

  • Guest editorial
  • Defining the undefinable: an analysis of definitions of community archives

    Purpose: This paper aims to explore definitions and notions of what a community archive is, and the tensions between different understandings of community archives. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is a critical analysis of community archives definitions and understanding from researchers and practitioners across the wider heritage information sector. Findings: Community archives are a growing area of interest for researchers because of the archives’ intrinsic link to the community and their provision of the evidence of it. While discussion often focuses on a paradigm of transformative purpose, existing definitions around community archives continue to be tenuous, reflecting different real or perceived types and practices and the perspective of the author and the sector they work within. Variations in definition can also occur because of differences in perspective around theory and practice, with many practitioner-based definitions intrinsically bound with the community they represent. This can result in community archives being defined as “alternative” based on mainstream practice or “political” based on theoretical purview, or “meeting the needs of community” by the community archivists themselves. Research limitations/implications: The paper is conceptual and does not attempt to provide one definition that covers the perceived extent of community archives. It is part of work in progress on the nature of community archives and the impact such discourse may have on archival theory and practice. Originality/value: This paper provides an overview of some of the key issues and themes impacting a definition of community archives, and in doing so works towards a broader understanding the nature of community archives. In most cases, the concept of “community” seems to provide a common definitive element and practitioner definitions focus on addressing the needs of self-defined community to a greater or lesser extent.

  • C2O and Frontyard: hacking the archives to design community spaces in Surabaya and Sydney

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify shared themes and concerns of two local and critical archives by comparing their design and day-to-day practice. Design/methodology/approach: The action research has drawn on the experience of collaboration between a Sydney-based community space (Frontyard) and the Surabaya-based co-working community (C2O) over one year. Each space houses a small physical library of books, which is the focus of this analysis. Findings: Hacking has emerged as a key value of both archives. A hacking approach has shaped the design of each space and the organisation each archive. Hacking frames the analysis of each collection in this study. Practical implications: Pragmatic and political understanding of such archives have implications for better quality and more authentic exchange between the communities that make use of these libraries in Indonesia and Australia. Originality/value: While some work on local critical archives has been done in Indonesia and Australia, no research to date has made specific comparisons with the aim of sharing knowledge. Because these archives are often temporary and ephemeral, documenting the work that goes into them, and their practitioners’ perspectives, is urgent, making possible shared knowledge that can inform the ways communities make decisions about their own heritage.

  • The gay archival impulse: the founding of the Gerber/Hart library and archives in Chicago

    Purpose: This paper aims to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the concept of community archives, offering a critique of the community archives discourse through a historical case study focused on the origins of the Gerber/Hart LGBTQ library and archives in Chicago. Design/methodology/approach: This study explores the archival collections of the founders of the Gerber/Hart library and archives and the librarians that have worked there as a means for understanding the origins of the archival impulse, the rationale for building the collections and the practices that shaped the collections during the first decade of the organization’s history. Findings: The historical analysis of the Gerber/Hart library and archives situates community archives and LGBTQ collections within the broader historical context that lead to the founding of the organization and reveals deep connections to the information professions not previously considered by those studying community archives. Originality/value: The paper offers a reconceptualization of community archives as archival projects initiated, controlled and maintained by the members of a self-defined community. The authors emphasize the role of the archival impulse or the historical origins of the collection and the necessity for full-community control, setting clear boundaries between community archives and other participatory archival models that engage the community.

  • Community archives in the Manuscript Department of the National Library of Russia

    Purpose: This paper aims to characterize community archives in the common array of the manuscript collection of the National Library of Russia (NLR). The purpose of the paper is to identify the features of organization of the archival system of Russia and the place of community archives in it. The authors intend to characterize the features of origin, history of existence and preservation of archives of public organizations in Russia on the example of the archives of Russian societies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; to spread knowledge about historical communities of Russia and their archival heritage and to discuss the value of community archives and their information potential. Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on the traditional methodology of the academic archival studies. At the same time interdisciplinary approach plays a great role in the field of study of community archives. The findings of the study were obtained as a result of the application of methods of historical research and special historical disciplines: archival heuristics, archive studies, source studies and archeography. The data were complemented by documentary analysis, including materials of nine archives, documents concerning acquisition and storage of these archives. Findings: As a result of the study of different community archives in the Manuscript Department of the NLR the authors came to the conclusion about poor preservation and diffusion of these archives. It suggests the necessity of developing methods of virtual archive reconstruction. Originality/value: This is the first study to date on the community archives in Russia. The first attempt to attribute and classify community archives of the NLR.

  • Analysis of South African universities and communities archives

    Purpose: The purpose of this study to investigate the relationships between South Africa (SA) universities and universities surrounding communities (USC) for preserving community histories and serve the universities’ mandate to support their local communities and support universities’ teaching and scholarship. Design/methodology/approach: The study used a multiple case study approach through interviews. The population of the study comprised representatives from selected universities and their USC. Findings: The findings revealed a lack of effective relationships between universities and USC to preserve communities’ histories. Hence, the communities’ archives are tools for teaching and scholarship. Relations between universities and USC are to be built on trust. Accountability and transparency are to be considered by both parties. Research limitations/implications: The research is limited to selected SA universities, namely, University of Venda, Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Pretoria and SA and USC. The findings are applicable to all SA universities and USC. Practical implications: The relationship between universities and USC has a practical impact on the National archives of South Africa (NARSSA) to collect communities archives because it is in conflict with the mandate of NARSSA. The National Archives’ Act 43 of 1996 obliged NARSSA to collect and preserve communities’ archives on behalf of societies. Social implications: Lack of universities and USC can lead to the loss of communities histories or archives. Originality/value: This paper appears to be the first to research the relationship between SA universities and USC.

  • Reimagining local studies in Devon. Reclaiming the local community’s published heritage in an age of austerity

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect that government austerity policies has had on local studies in Devon and suggest a possible alternative means of maintaining local studies’ collections. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents an historical survey of local studies provision in the county since the nineteenth century and outlines the present local studies’ landscape. Findings: The findings show that local studies’ provision has been severely affected by eight years of progressive cuts to public library funding and that present publications, both printed and digital, are no longer being adequately recorded. Practical implications: This paper suggests that in Devon, the museum sector may be a more appropriate home for local studies’ library provision than are archive services. Social implications: Volunteers in libraries, museums and archives across Devon will be involved in maintaining a union catalogue and a bibliography of local publications. Originality/value: While this is a suggested solution for Devon, it may not be applicable in regions with different traditions of heritage provision.

  • Cultural societies and information needs: Croats in New Zealand

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to explore how small immigrant communities in host countries collect, disseminate and present information about their home country and their community, and the role of formal societies and clubs in it. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents the results of a case study of the Croatian community in New Zealand. To illustrate how cultural and technological changes affected information dissemination and communication within the community, the case study presents both historical and current situations. Methods used in this case study included a content analysis of historical newspapers published in New Zealand by the Croatian community, content analysis of current webpages and social networking sites, and interviews with participants who have management roles in Croatian societies and communities in New Zealand. Data were collected from December 2018 to February 2019. Findings: Formally established clubs and societies, but also informal groups of immigrants and their descendants can play a significant role in providing their members with information about the culture, social life and events of the home country. They also play a significant role in preserving part of the history and heritage which is relevant, not only for a specific community but also for the history and culture of a home country. Originality/value: The methodology used in the research is based on data from community archives and can be used for studying other small immigrant communities in New Zealand or abroad. The case study presented in the paper illustrates how the information environment of small immigrant communities develops and changes over the years under the influence of diverse political, social and technological changes.

  • The importance of information access of cultural values to the principles of sustainable development in climate change

    Purpose: This is a methodological proposal that describes the access to information as a starting point, and the importance of access to information as the backbone for the values of investment with the notion of culture as shared beliefs, supported by information to communicate and provide awareness about issues related to environmental policy that is consistent with sustainable development. Data collection is done from census data of Cikarawang population, observation and in-depth interviews with informants of community leaders. Constructive theory constructs to identify the diversity of existing construction of and placing in the consensus. The goal of this methodology is to produce an informed and knowledgeable construction of, which simultaneously improving continuously. Constructivists do not intend to predict and control the real world and divert it but to reconstruct the world at the point of its existence: in the mind of the people of the community in Cikarawang village. The view of the importance of cultural institutions and traditional knowledge should not be ignored in reaching the target of practical dissemination of information regarding environmental policy should be conducted for further study the model of and the model for the construction of the constructed. The use of application in documenting myths and rituals of Cikarawang people is enabling the access of information of the people in learning the culture and language of Cikarawang. Moreover, it is the way to reach the goal of sustainable environment for the next generations. Design/methodology/approach: The goal of this methodology is to produce an informed and knowledgeable construction of, which simultaneously improved continuously. Constructivists do not intend to predict and control the real world and divert it but to reconstruct the world at the point of its existence: in the mind of the constructor. In the process related to two aspects, : hermeneutic and dialectical. Aspects of individual construction of hermeneutic describe as compare and contrast to the dialectical aspects of individual construction of, so that each respondent was entered into the construction of another and entirely fused. Findings: The access of information on asri to face global warming is to demonstrate the hybridity and syncretism of this everyday locality and to show how this global sense of place is a progressive sense of place which avoids defensive and exclusionary definitions of place and culture because they cannot be sustained in a world where understanding a place means understanding its connection to other places. However, the youths of Cikarawang are likely to self-identify, as liberals are also more supportive of progressive domestic social agenda than older generations. They are less overtly religious than the older generations. Research limitations/implications: The access of information, is about trying to establish the existence of the collectivity by defining what makes it a community – isolating national characteristics, defining crucial historical moments or significant places. None of these implies that these meanings can be fixed. There might be useful to think of nations as projects which are never fully achieved. There are always alternative accounts which are being given, and alternative interpretations being made from different positions. Climate information needs to be made in accordance with the local context and activities of both of the content, format, timing and distribution (dissemination). Practical implications: The undetermined that perceived lack of locals trying to understand the information about weather and climate change are delivered by using technology need to engage their participation to identify and develop adaptation and mitigation strategies. Knowledge about the weather and how to overcome it is also myths about the environment containing taboo and prohibition as well as the annual harvest ritual. Digital technology using application is the nearest object to individual youngsters to access information openly and individually. Access of information using apps and internet is bridging the issues of climate change, myths and rituals about environment, and generation gaps. Social implications: The behavior of young people of Generation X are not heeding the ban in the experience of their ancestors. It is not only because of their belief in myth depleted but also in the absence of respected elders. Person figures which are respected as wise men or local leaders to be role models. In the past, knowledge and cultural information are presented, preserved, generated down to future generations. Nowadays, information about climate, weather, cultural knowledge in agriculture, irrigation, daily life, ritual, myth, and kinship is no longer simply rely on figures but the media that they believe in. Originality/value: It is an interdisciplinary research of global knowledge, memory and communication. Digital technology-based application as the system to support access of information and the effort of documentation on community myths and rituals of remote people may affect on sustainable local wisdoms which protect and sustain the environment to be inherited to next generations. Web, private social networks, wikis and blogs are becoming important corporate tools for communication, collaboration and information-sharing. It is a way of young people in this Generation X most familiar in such as interactive, collaborative, managing knowledge, and managing global system and bridging generation gaps.

  • Knowing the value of information; how can we teach our students to have analytical minds?

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