Volunteers in Australian Archives

hands-people-woman-workingWhy do volunteers choose to contribute thousands of unpaid hours per week to Australian archives? This paper presents the results of a nationwide web survey that provides insight into the demographics, motivations, and experiences of volunteers in Australian archives.

Continue reading

Archivist: Research Support or Researcher?

library-la-trobe-study-students-159775.jpegI recently became excited when I learned that an Australian Information Management undergrad course contained subjects about research. This excitement dampened considerably when I was told the intent of the subject was to teach future information professionals about how to support the research activities of others, rather than to conduct research of their own.

In that instance, our information professional students, on the cusp of their careers, are subliminally being told; “you are research support, not researcher”.

Continue reading

Debunking Archival Research Myths

bustedFor most archivists, research continues to be shrouded in mystery. Unfortunately this contributes to the growing gap between practitioners and researchers in our profession.

This blog post sets out to debunk a couple of myths that are stopping people from doing research.

Continue reading

#FundTROVE

troveUPDATE: Following extensive campaigning, Trove received a commitment of $16.4 million in Dec 2016.

In case you missed it: The Australian federal government is significantly cutting funding to the National Library of Australia. One of the services that will be most detrimentally impacted is Trove, which will no longer be able to aggregate content from museums and universities unless fully funded to do so.

Continue reading

No More Gatekeepers! Social media engagement breaks down barriers within the archival sector

socialmediaThe irrefutable strength of social media is in its ability to break down barriers. We usually talk about this quality in terms of social media’s ability to overcome issues of time and space, but in this post I want to focus on its’ ability to overcome barriers between groups; say… between researchers and practitioners in the Australian archival sector.

Continue reading

When optimism and positivity is misconstrued as naivety

umbrellaWednesday night we attended the State Library of Victoria’s 2015 Stephen Murray-Smith Memorial lecture which was presented by feminist historian Dr. Clare Wright. During the lecture Clare reflected upon the 40 years since the publication of Anne Summers’ seminal text Damned Whores and God’s Police.

Continue reading

Digital Life Story Work with Aboriginal Children in Out-of-Home Care

Cropped man and woman using electronic device free image

I was asked to prepare a video presentation of my research for the Masters of Education students of Australian Catholic University. A transcript of the presentation is included below with links to useful resources for those who are interested.

Continue reading

Respecting cultural differences vs ‘othering’

563415

Introspection by Giulia Marangoni

As researchers in the interpretivist paradigm we are expected to grapple and come to some sort of understanding of our participants’ worldview. This strikes me as an impossible task. When asked, my supervisors assured me that it is in fact impossible, but as long as we accept that we have tried our best and engage in reflective practice that our research will be robust. I find it difficult to come to terms with these concepts especially since my research focuses on Aboriginal culture. I feel as though it would be the height of stupidity to pretend to have even a basic understanding of their worldview. Although my professors raised the point that perhaps I am actually doing the Aboriginal community a disservice by assuming that we have vastly different worldviews. How do I navigate the line between ‘othering’ the Indigenous community and respecting the fact that cultural differences exist?