Week 2 Thur Assignment

The curation of data involves ongoing management and presentation of data throughout their usefulness to scholarship.  Preserving data means making sure that data continues to be available for as long as necessary.  Data aggregation, as Kathryn brilliantly put it, is the process of selecting and collecting the data.  Each offer their own challenges such as curations dilemma with finding new formats to translate the data into along with trying to connect it to different data sets.  Copyright claims prevent many important books from being incorporated into public archives.  Data aggregation has the issue of omitting certain things when the data is collected.  For example, Google’s library algorithm has mistakenly flipped letters and had other certain minor errors that hurt the authenticity over time.

The debate over access is extremely important for archiving primary source materials.  The archivists need access to the sources and we need access to the archive.  Beneficial websites for students and scholars such as Jstor are unable to viewed without paying or outside permission.  Some argue that if data is on the web it should be free to anyone to access while others, mainly the site operators, want funds for their work in collecting their sources.  It is hard to say if a deal will be reached over content access unless a law is passed or a settlement is made.

If I were to create a family history I would have an extremely hard time because my parents and sister are the only relatives of mine who live on the West Coast.  All my cousins, uncles, etc live on the East Coast in different states and we never have reunions so they are basically strangers, therefore I would have to contact each of them independently and follow up frequently since I can’t meet up with them in person.  I would therefore have to rely solely on phone and email conversations to find out what they would let me share.  The collection process would be a pain but I think the sole fact that everyone in our family is so spread out that the stories I could collect would be way more interesting than if we had all been living in the same city for the last 24 years.  I would start by creating a file for each person with all of their data and sources, then organize by nuclear family, then by generation.  There are several ways to preserve the data including a simple hard drive with iCloud backup.  I would make the project open to anyone to edit due to the fact that I would employ my relatives to contribute as much as they can themselves to cut down on lag time over distance apart.  This way it will also become more personable to them and encourage them to preserve it for their own use.  A project such as this is a massive undertaking and would require lot’s of collaboration and communication, which would not come easy to me so the more hands I can get helping, the better.

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