‘I have looked into the abyss … and it is data!’
So said Steve Jupe, Head of Archive Governance and Policy at the BBC, in a day of all things data at The National Archives.
Every year for the past six years, we have hosted the UKAD Forum as members of the UK Archives Discovery Network (UKAD), and for the past two, in partnership with the Archives and Records Association (ARA)’s Section for Archives and Technology (SAT).
The Forum is an opportunity for archivists to share ideas for networking collections to make it easier for users to make connections between them. This year the theme was ‘Data Matters’!
Joining Steve from the BBC, we had representatives from the British Library, the British Museum, the Chelsea College of Arts and the Royal College of Nursing, offering different approaches to managing data to make archive collections more discoverable.
David Reeve, Head of Information Strategy at Jisc, opened proceedings with the basics, challenging the delegates to think about digital data differently. He began what became a day of soundbites and cultural references with the help of Star Trek’s Lieutenant Commander Data – did we really need to duplicate him?
From The National Archives, Senior Archivist Andrew Janes wanted his ‘dirty data’ to pass the Ronseal Test: it should ‘do exactly as it says on the tin’. All data is ‘dirty’ to an extent – that is, it needs cleaning up and sorting out. What should our focus be? Continue reading »