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Digital Curation and the Citizen Archivist

University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science


The increasing array and power of personal digital recordkeeping systems promises both to make it more difficult for established archives to acquire personal and family archives and less likely that individuals might wish to donate personal and family digital archives to archives, libraries, museums, and other institutions serving as documentary repositories. This paper provides a conceptual argument for how projects such as the Digital Curation one ought to consider developing spinoffs for archivists training private citizens how to preserve, manage, and use digital personal and family archives. Rethinking how we approach the public, which will increasingly face difficult challenges in caring for their digital archives, also brings with it substantial promise in informing them about the nature and importance of the archival mission. Can the Digital Curation project provide tools that canbe used for working with the public?

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