- Access to archival material in context
- ACM International Conference Proceedings Series
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
Archival finding aids are long and complexly structured documents describing archival material---the paper trails of the lives of corporate bodies, persons, and families. Currently, finding aids are encoded in XML using the standard Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and made available to the public on web-sites of archival institutions. But how to provide access to such long and complexly structured documents? On the one hand, users tend to look for specific archival material that may be deeply nested inside the archive. On the other hand, interpreting the meaning of an item is crucially dependent on its context.
Using insights from the field of XML retrieval---a subfield of information retrieval that has recently attracted a lot of attention, mainly through the annual evaluation effort in INEX---we developed three different systems for searching in collections of digital finding aids corresponding to three fundamental choices about archival access. The first system provides access to the fonds or archive as a whole; the second system provides direct access to individual archival material at any level of description; the third system retrieves archival material while preserving the original context. This paper reports on the results of an extensive user study with the three systems. Our main finding is that test persons have a preference for the third system that retrieves archival material in their original context, with test persons indicating that the system assisted them in assessing relevancy, navigation and direct access to relevant parts of the finding aids.
- Proceedings title: Proceedings of the second International Symposium on Information Interaction in Context: October 14-17,
2008, London, United Kingdom
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Place of publication: New York, NY
Editors: P. Borland, J.W. Schneider, M. Lalmas, A. Tombros, J. Feather, D. Kelly, A.P. de Vries
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.