Creating and managing digital archives relating to the history and technique of print
Hill, V. (2006) Creating and managing digital archives relating to the history and technique of print. In: Digital Futures 2006: Imaging, Archives & Collections, The Royal Society, London, Tuesday 31st October 2006.
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To manage the construction of a digital archive effectively, fundamental issues need to be addressed. These principally revolve around the consideration of how the underpinning architecture and design of the archive will work. For example – questions of how the user may navigate through it and the terminology needed for data-entry are vital. Also important are the implementation of methods for ensuring consistency and the effective documentation of metadata relating to the capture of images held within the archive. If these issues are not resolved then data contained in the archive quickly becomes redundant with no clear or consistent methods for accessing it. The integration of both text and image-based materials within a digital medium is an effective method of storing information. The flexibility with which a digital solution can be used enables a much greater manipulation of content than traditional paper based archives, allowing information to be presented in a variety of layouts and detail. Information retrieval strategies can also be built into the archives’ architecture and presented to the user in a clear and concise manner facilitating the users’ interaction with the archive. This paper will demonstrate how these issues have been addresses using digital archives produced at the Centre for Fine Print Research as case studies.