Negotiating the born-digital: A problem of search

Winters, J. and Prescott, A. (2019) Negotiating the born-digital: A problem of search. Archives and Manuscripts, 47(32-33), pp. 391-403. (doi: 10.1080/01576895.2019.1640753)

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Abstract

Contemporary approaches to the investigation of digital resources are dominated by the paradigm of free-form natural language search, popularised by Google. The Google form of searching has shaped our view of digital possibilities and profoundly affects our search and research habits. Yet in early pioneering work which led to the digital revolution of the 1990s, search was not a major consideration and there was a stronger emphasis on linking files. With the rise of very large born-digital resources such as e-mail archives, Wikileak dumps and web archives, the limitations of Google-type searching are becoming more evident. This paper reviews the limitations of search in exploring born-digital archives and starts to sketch out possible approaches to an alternative. It is suggested that a return to digital roots, by renewing the interest of pioneers such as Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson in the linking of files, may provide one approach to born-digital archives.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Prescott, Professor Andrew
Authors: Winters, J., and Prescott, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Archives and Manuscripts
Publisher:Taylor & Francis (Routledge) forAustralian Society of Archivists
ISSN:0157-6895
ISSN (Online):0157-6895
Published Online:11 August 2019

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