Digital Meets Analogue: The iPad and the Archives

Archives are heterogeneous institutional spaces that contain documents of historical significance. Often, but not always, housed within libraries, every archive has its unique little quirks: different policies for access, photography, and photocopying; different levels of friendliness and usefulness of the employees; different kinds of lighting and seating; etc. Given those differences, about the only things that hold true across all the archives with which I’m familiar are three truths: (1) you may bring in paper and pencil, (2) you may use a piece of technology for taking notes (laptop, iPad, etc.), and (3) you must be patient.

As promised in an earlier post, I wanted to do a process piece explaining and evaluating a method for using the iPad in an archival setting. Having just returned from New York last month, the methods, advantages, and disadvantages are relatively fresh in my mind; however, I’ve also had some time and distance to reflect on how well things worked and to share those thoughts with y’all. The post will slip between a summary and evaluative voice (looking back at what I did) and a prescriptive one, indicating practices that I think one ought to consider enacting/adopting. So here goes…. Continue reading “Digital Meets Analogue: The iPad and the Archives”