Traces of humanity: Echoes of social and cultural experience in physical objects and digital surrogates in the University of Victoria Libraries

Date

2016-04-15

Authors

Lanning, Robbyn
Bengtson, Jonathan

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Cogent Arts and Humanities

Abstract

The relationships between primary source materials and their digital surrogates warrant consideration about how different materials translate into digitized forms. Physical primary source materials found in library special collections and archives and their digital surrogates challenge the viewer to consider what these objects are communicating through their materiality or lack thereof. For example, how does a clay tablet represent itself digitally, as compared to a parchment manuscript, or a paper accounts book? What qualities, stories or narratives do these resources communicate in their original forms, as digital surrogates, or when engaged with together, and how do these differ? How do both physical and digital resources serve as archival objects with the ability to reflect our social and cultural experiences—and indeed our humanity—back to us? As more and more library and museum resources are digitized and made open to researchers, such questions must be addressed as the use and reuse of digital surrogates becomes increasingly complex as digital scholarship evolves.

Description

Keywords

Digital Humanities, Digital Libraries, Digitization, Materiality, Material Culture, Special Collections, Archives, Collective Memory, Libraries, Visual Studies

Citation

Gordon Lanning, R., & Bengtson, J. B. (2016). Traces of humanity: Echoes of social and cultural experience in physical objects and digital surrogates in the University of Victoria Libraries. Cogent Arts & Humanities, 3(1), 1163042. http://doi.org/10.1080/23311983.2016.1163042