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Archival Liveness: Designing with Collections Before and During Cataloguing and Digitization

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom Schofield, Professor Dave KirkORCiD, Dr Telmo Amaral, Dr Guy Schofield, Dr Thomas Ploetz



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-ND 4.0).


We present "archival liveness" as a concept in design and the Digital Humanities and describe its development within a Research Through Design process. Working with a newly acquired archive of contemporary poetry we produced designs that both manifested and "geared in to" [Durrant 2011] [Gurwitsch 1979] the temporal rhythms of the work and infrastructure of archiving. Drawing on user-centred work with participants, often poets themselves, we focused on marginalia as a material feature of the archive, developing a drawing machine and live Twitter bot. Our work addresses institutional concerns for outreach and engagement while also acknowledging and exploiting the inevitably incomplete or live character of archival collections. For designers working with digital archives, we demonstrate the pragmatic and critical value of liveness as a focus of the design process.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schofield T, Kirk D, Amaral T, Dörk M, Whitelaw M, Schofield G, Ploetz T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Digital Humanities Quarterly

Year: 2015

Volume: 9

Issue: 3

Pages: 1-15

Online publication date: 09/11/2015

Acceptance date: 12/09/2015

Date deposited: 13/01/2021

ISSN (electronic): 1938-4122

Publisher: The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations



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