Saturday, 5 December 2015

Interactivity and LAC

Last month's post What's LAC Talking about in 2015? had an analysis of 11 speeches Librarian and Archivist Guy Berthiaume has given in 2015. Leaving out stop words, the most frequently used words in his speeches were: LAC - 255 mentions, digital - 207, Canada - 180. Now there's a 12th, Digital Humanities, delivered on 26 November, 2015 at the Colloque numérique Midi-Pyrénées in Toulouse, France. It's hardly surprising that "digital" is again high the list of most frequently used words.

In that talk Guy Berthiaume cites examples of successful modern archive and library projects: LAC's Project Naming; the history of the world through 100 objects from the BBC and British Museum and; the Digital Public Library of America. The common thread, says Berthiaume, is interactivity.

Every day there are tens of thousands of interactions with LAC and its partner databases, largely by people researching their family history. That's not interaction in the sense that it builds LAC's knowledge base in the same way as Project Naming, or that authors have long done in donating copies of their genealogical publications to LAC's collection.

LAC is seeking to develop further interactivity in the digital space, Berthiaume has publicly mused about a Canadian equivalent or component to the Digital Public Library of America.

Another approach would be through linking between databases. Automated Genealogy has attempted this -- unfortunately a lot of those links now seem to be broken.

Canadian family trees have been developed through sites like Ancestry and FamilySearch and would surely have been established using LAC databases. Some of those will cite the source. Perhaps that information could feed back and be captured by LAC for the benefit of their clients?

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