POST: The Archive as Data Platform

In a post prompted by the release of the Carter Cables by WikiLeaks, Ed Summers asks the question:

What if instead of trying to build the ultimate user experience for archival content, archives focused first and foremost on providing simple access to the underlying data first?

Responding to the “URL inspection” that is necessary to determine how to download archival records in bulk from NARA, Summers imagines a reorientation among archivists that would put these actions at the forefront of digital archives. Noting some reticence around a discussion stemming from controversial topics such as WikiLeaks, Summers puts the idea in perspective for scholars:

Researchers should feel that downloading data from the archive is a legitimate activity. 

Thoughts, anyone?

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Jolie Braun, Lindsey Halsell, Chella Vaidyanathan, and Krista White (Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Zach Coble and Caro Pinto (dh+lib Review Editors).