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IRC16 - Proposed Session - #ArchiveAnarchy (Archives, Accessibility, and Social Media)

Posted by Sumandro Chattapadhyay at Nov 23, 2015 03:55 PM |
This is a session proposed for the Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC) 2016 by Ranjani M Prasad and Farah Yameen.



In the last decade, the internet has aided a proliferation of information networks - Google Books,, Hathi Trust, and similar archive based knowledge platforms – and cloud based data storage has become a useful and accessible alternative to file based systems.

The session opens up with questions of accessibility, ownership and hegemonies in an active archive. It takes up three archives that are being built at Ambedkar Univeristy and other similar archives to explore the emerging issues of knowledge sharing on the internet.

  • The Lotika Vardarajan archive is an ethnographic archive putting together an academic’s research on indigenous Maritime and Textile traditions and their indepth documentation.
  • The Delhi Oralities Archive is an oral history archive of city memories and resident narratives that seeks to be accessible to the city as an open resource.
  • The Institutional Memory Archive is a living archive continuously reinventing itself according the needs of the university campus that it documents.

The archiving impulses in each case are different as are the dissemination needs of the archive. How do Internet tools like social media, audio and video distribution platforms like Soundcloud and YouTube intervene in the archiving space to enable and catalyze access? Do dissemination strategies provided by Twitter and Facebook affect the use and usability of archives? Does such access threaten questions of ownership and privacy? Who owns a public archive like Delhi Oralities? What hierarchies operate in living archives to decide what is archived and who archives it? What are the limits of such knowledge repositories and the open access movement itself, especially in the light of traditional knowledge structures?



The discussion session explores questions of archives outside the academic research space. It discusses the possibility of using non-traditional platforms for data sharing to maximize access, sustainability and co-authorship for living archives.



Basic knowledge about existing social media platforms, open source repository softwares such as DSpace and familiarity with Creative Commons licensing.



Sumandro Chattapadhyay

As a Director at CIS, I co-lead the researchers@work programme, and engage with academic and policy research on data governance and digital economy. I can be reached at sumandro[at]cis-india[dot]org.