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ChronoTape: Tangible Timelines For Family History

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Madeline Balaam


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An explosion in the availability of online records has led to surging interest in genealogy. In this paper we explore the present state of genealogical practice, with a particular focus on how the process of research is recorded and later accessed by other researchers. We then present our response, ChronoTape, a novel tangible interface for supporting family history research. The ChronoTape is an example of a temporal tangible interface, an interface designed to enable the tangible representation and control of time. We use the Chrono- Tape to interrogate the value relationships between physical and digital materials, personal and professional practices, and the ways that records are produced, maintained and ultimately inherited. In contrast to designs that support exist- ing genealogical practice, ChronoTape captures and embeds traces of the researcher within the document of their own research, in three ways: (i) it ensures physical traces of digital research; (ii) it generates personal material around the use of impersonal genealogical data; (iii) it allows for graceful degradation of both its physical and digital components in order to deliberately accommodate the passage of information into the future.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bennett P, Fraser M, Balaam M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Sixth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI)

Year of Conference: 2012

Pages: 49-56

Publisher: ACM Press


DOI: 10.1145/2148131.2148144

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450311748