At the Personal Digital Archiving Conference

Photos by Natalie Parker

I wear all sorts of hats.  Last week I put on my Master’s student hat and headed to Indianapolis to learn more about Personal Digital Archiving.

Why a conference on personal digital archiving?  There has been a lot of study about institutions (think universities, companies) taking care of their digital assets.  Not a lot of attention has been paid to how regular people manage their own digital assets.  Your digital assets are photographs, email, blog posts, bank statements, text messages, tweets, facebook records, videos, you name it!

As a scrapbooker studying archives, this subject is the perfect intersection for me!  The area of study is new and people at the conference were talking about how to define and address the problem.  What are people doing about their digital assets?  Do they care more about some digital items than others?  How to we let people know about resources that can help?

I met all sorts of great people!  I ran into another Master’s student/scrapbooker and we chatted about scrapbooking and her project to scan old family photos.  I chatted with a professor and someone from the Library of Congress about current trends in memory keeping — this included explaining what Project Life is and showing them examples of pocket page scrapbooking on my tablet.  I didn’t go to the conference thinking I was going to talk so much about scrapbooking, but the subjects are very intertwined.  Stephanie‘s dissertation on scrapbooking also came up.

What does all this mean?  I’m not sure yet but this is only the beginning for me on this subject.  I want to make sure I get out the word on some great resources I learned about that are geared toward regular people.

Do you have any questions on this subject?  Did you know people studied this?  Do you feel like you’ve got a handle on your digital belongings (it’s okay to say no, research shows most people don’t)?


6 thoughts on “At the Personal Digital Archiving Conference

  1. I think this is a great topic. I print out Facebook comments some times to keep for a possible scrapbook. People don’t write letters like they did 40 years ago. It’s the only personal written message from some family members that I have.

      • That’s interesting. I read an article recently about the need to study whether or not people thing Facebook records are worth saving in the first place (as opposed to just ephemeral stuff). I feel like I’m not the right person to ask because I love saving everything!

    • It moves. They haven’t decided where it will be next year. It’s such a small group that they have to rely on someone’s library or institution hosting it. It might be in NY. When I find out, I’ll let you know!

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