Reproducing Privilege in the Collaboration for Digital Primary Sources for Historical Research

Friday, January 5, 2018: 4:10 PM
Diplomat Ballroom (Omni Shoreham)
Jennifer E. Guiliano, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
While the development of digital primary sources largely focuses on the identification of archival materials and the creation of digital surrogates, I suggest that there are technical and ethical considerations around collaboration that need to be considered by partnering individuals and institutions. Specifically, I argue in this roundtable that the desire to create publicly accessible digital primary sources often reproduces systems of socio-cultural privilege. Using examples from current digital primary source projects, I illustrate that to fully maximize the potential use of digital primary sources we must forefront concerns of blind, disabled, low-vision, and cognitively disabled users as well as users outside traditional academic use cases. By divorcing the data of digital primary sources from the platform, I argue that we will extend the use of these sources beyond the technical lifecycle of any one user or type of interaction.