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The Digitisation of the Archive and Its Impact on the Research Process / Faculty of Education and Arts / Events / The University of Newcastle, Australia


The School of Humanities and Social Science and the Centre for 21st Century Humanities invite you to attend:

Masterclass With Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart

The Digitisation of the Archive and Its Impact on the Research Process

This talk will explore recent unease about the ways in which digitisation has impacted upon the research process. Indiscriminate mining of data can be particularly problematic. The ability to access electronic information remotely comes at the risk of disassociating digitised information from its archival context. While the aggregation of data from multiple sources can lead to important analytical breakthroughs, it can also magnify these problems. These concerns are compounded by the rate at which digital data has disappeared behind the pay walls of commercial providers. Ownership of the means of digital discovery has important ramifications, precisely because retrieval systems mediate the ability of users to locate and interact with data. All is not bad news however. They are plenty of ways in which digitisation can be used to place researchers back in charge, although these may require changes in the way academic research is organised. The talk will provide examples of such approaches and will include ample opportunities for discussion of the ways in which digital methodologies might be employed by future generations of researchers and how this is likely to impact upon the research process.

Hamish Maxwell-Stewart is a professor of history at the University of Tasmania. His current interests are in life course and intergenerational outcomes. He has extensive experience working with archivists and family and local history groups in order to assemble large digitised datasets. He currently holds a number of research grants including one in conjunction with the University of Newcastle designed to explore the impact of solitary confinement on the lives of convicts transported to the Australian penal colonies.

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Humanities and Social Science staff and HDR students from all disciplines are invited to attend.

Please RSVP to Michelle Allan by Thursday 21stMarch, 2019.

Date: Thursday 28th March, 2019.

Time: 2.00-3.30pm

Venue: NewSpace, X803

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