Digital Archives and History Research: Feedback from an End-User  Cover Image

Arhivele digitale și cercetarea istorică: feedback-ul unui utilizator
Digital Archives and History Research: Feedback from an End-User

Author(s): Alexander Maxwell
Subject(s): History, Archiving, Electronic information storage and retrieval
Published by: Arhivele Nationale ale Romaniei
Keywords: digitization; digital archives; digital libraries; historical research; website design; digital history; digital research in the humanities

Summary/Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the mission and implementation of digital libraries from a historian’s perspective. This paper summarizes the abstract qualities that historians look for in their sources, and then compares various digital archives both qualitatively and quantitatively, highlighting design features that enhance or detract from the ease of use. Preservation is the paramount mission of research libraries. Digital interfaces should contain images of original documents, html text documents hold little interest. Site interfaces should enable users to browse and zoom with minimal mouse clicks. Downloadable viewers should be avoided. Simple browsing is more important than keyword searching. Google Books sets the standard for digital information, and digital librarians can measure their site interface by that yardstick. This paper provides feedback to administrators of digital libraries. It gives library scientists candid opinions from an intensive end user of digital information, contains several practical suggestions, and explains the reasoning behind those suggestions.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 9-27
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Romanian