The iSchool at Linnaeus University is bringing together researchers and practitioners for a workshop discussing ways in which digitisation approaches may be set up to change the nature and legacy of cultural collection prior to digital dissemination. Titled Critical perspectives on cultural heritage: Re-visitin digitisation, the virtual event takes place Oct. 26, 2021 via Zoom.
Today, the Semantic Web and Linked Open Data are creating new value for the descriptive information in the cultural heritage sector. Libraries, museums, heritage management and archives are seeing new possibilities in sharing by turning their catalogues into open datasets that can be directly accessed, allowing cultural heritage data to be circulated, navigated, analyzed and re-arranged at unprecedented levels. This is supported by research funding bodies, governments and EU policies and numerous political interests, resulting in enormous investment in digitization projects which make cultural heritage information openly available and machine readable. But before deploying this data, one must ask: is this data fit for deployment?
Libraries, museums, heritage management and archives have long histories. Both the collections they house and the language they use(d) to describe said collections are products of that historical legacy, shaped by, amongst others, institutionalized colonialism, racism and patriarchy. Yet descriptive information is now being digitized and shared as if that legacy is not inherent to the collections. Instead, existing units of information are being distributed through new Web 3.0 technologies, bringing with it an outdated knowledge-base. Besides the risk of progressive techniques being applied to regressive content, we may also sacrifice the development of new knowledge in libraries, museums, heritage management and archives aimed at facilitating socially sustainable futures, remediating exploitative historical legacies.
More workshop etails and joining instructions can be found on the Linnaeus iSchool website.