Experimental Archives at the Schlesinger Library

On May 16-17, 2011, approximately 45 professionals from various disciplines came together for the Radcliffe Workshop on Technology and Archival Processing. The workshop aimed to leverage technology to improve access to information in archives. 
During two days of brainstorming, breakout discussion sessions focused on maximizing discovery and streamlining archival processing. At the close of the workshop, a number of participants urged for continued, cross-disciplinary conversation on the topic and the development of pilot projects to experiment with strong, consensus ideas that emerged from the event. 


As a result of this, the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute initiated a pilot project to establish an experimental processing space. This laboratory is being used to scale-up the use of technology for innovative archival processing in the digital age. Specifically, this space integrates hardware; software; consultation and training; and the application of revised and emerging methodologies. It is being used to test creative solutions towards the development of sustainable, digitally-enhanced processing practices. The goal of the project is to provide maximum access to information in archives and to provide that information to users in the way they want it. 

The Schlesinger Library has completed work on three core experiments: Direct to Digital Processing, Rethinking Redaction, and New Methods for Newspapers. Related and new experiments are added as the project progresses and are documented here accordingly.