Archives provide first hand information about the past. They serve as primary sources and evidence of significant historical events for scholars. Archive also play a role when telling stories, increasing our sense of identity and understanding of cultures (King’s College, 2019). Archives are in many cases used to carry out research, create architectural designs, as well as demonstrate knowledge and development through literature.
According to The Artifactual Elements of Born- Digital Records, author LeFurgy explains to readers that archivists engage in the process of emulation as a way to “persevere artifactual characteristics of born- digital archival collections”.
Commonly, archivists digitize records to facilitate access. Those digitized copies may be found in multiple locations, which in turn protect and maintain the state of the original copies from improper use and or physical damage such a wear, tear, and possible binding.
Though, various factors are considered when deciding whether or not to digitize an archive. Some include but are not limited to; the size or dimension, the context, the quality, maintenance of digital files, and the cost.1https://www.google.com/amp/s/peelarchivesblog.com/2017/05/31/why-dont-archivists-digitize-everything/amp/[/efn_note]
In my opinion, the digitization of archives may affect our interpretations and could consequently impair our judgement concerning past events. Though we are presented with firsthand material, we may still lack the central idea surrounding the concept’s purpose and value.
Visiting the Special Collections exhibit bettered my understanding of the Federal Theater Project. For example, I was able to explore the archives from MACBETH, a production by the Federal Theater Project’s Negro Unit. In the collection included various photographs of actors, actresses, extras, props, and even play- goers. Other collections pertaining the 30’s were also present.
Looking through the digitized copies gave me an insight on how advanced and well organized the Federal Theater Project was described to be. Prior to such, I could not have imagine that technologies of the 1930’s were quite similar to those used today. Each archive sparked my interest as they almost seemed unbelievable. I could not grasp the fact that I was exploring such things of the past better yet, experiencing each for myself as they were well kept and maintained.
“What Are Archives?”, Kings College Cambridge, accessed November 12, 2019, https://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/archive-centre/introduction-to-archives/a/1
“Why don’t archivists digitize everything?”, Archives @ PAMA, accessed November 12, 2019, https://peelarchivesblog.com/2017/05/31/why-dont-archivists-digitize-everything/