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If you are interested in being able to access any of the currently
restricted materials on the wiki I suggest you contact Laura Clark Brown and
see if it's possible. She organized the symposium and headed the Mellon
funded grant researching the implications of large-scale digitization at the
SHC. Also, the entire symposium was videotaped, though I'm not sure if this
tape is going to be available. Laura will know all of that. Her email is
[log in to unmask] Laura will also be writing up all of her findings from
the symposia and her other research on the grant (ranging from legal and
ethical implications to sustainability and the selection process for
digitization), and that should be available later this year.

Joyce Chapman

2009/4/21 Elizabeth H Dow <[log in to unmask]>

>  What a rich conversation; thank you all.  Please keep it coming...
>
> Much of the wiki created for the SHC/NC symposium is available <
> http://shc2009symposia.pbwiki.com/ > though some seems to be restricted to
> account holders. It's a great resource.
>
> Elizabeth H. Dow
> Associate Professor
> School of Library and Information Science
> Louisiana State University
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Encoded Archival Description List on behalf of Joyce Chapman
> Sent: Tue 4/21/2009 10:15 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Ethical issues raised by EAD encoding
>
> Elizabeth,
>
> In February we had a fascinating symposium at the University of North
> Carolina at Chapel Hill on the legal and ethical implications of
> large-scale
> digitization of the Southern Historical Collection that discussed precisely
> this, though rather in the context of putting the actual materials out
> there, not just the finding aids.
>
> I do not believe the slides and speaker notes are publicly available to
> date, but I can point you to a four-part blog entry by Merrilee Proffitt
> that gives an excellent overview of what was discussed. See her blog
> hangingtogether.org, the first post
> http://hangingtogether.org/?p=624 will point you to the others.
>
> In a rather abstract sense, my personal belief is that we have already
> answered questions relating to our professional commitment to protecting
> third-party privacy. By deciding to have unrestricted access to such
> materials in our reading rooms, we should have already dealt with the
> weight
> and ethics of third party privacy issues. If we feel a new discomfort with
> the dawn of digital access, this should cause us to reexamine the decisions
> we have made previously, and to examine the roots of our discomfort.
>
> At least for public archives, our materials are technically open to
> everyone. That means the the first time we made the decision to have these
> materials open to research, we were legally saying we felt comfortable with
> the ramifications of anyone in the world having access to them. In a de
> facto sense, the situation with non digital materials or analog finding
> aids
> is that only certain subsets of society have the educational resources to
> figure out that this stuff is here, and the free time/economic resources to
> come to our reading room and see it, or pay someone else to do that for
> them. Access is undemocratic, at the moment. Access becomes much more
> democratic with digital access to the materials.
>
> So I think we need to ask ourselves whether what we were really thinking
> before digital access was, "we are comfortable with everyone who fits a
> certain profile looking at these materials." If that is the case, then
> clearly that mentality is what needs to be reexamined, and our
> processing/restriction/decision-making matrix needs to be updated according
> to the reality that our materials are truly open.
>
> In a more realistic view, I think there are not really issues with digital
> access to finding aids, and more thinking to be done regarding fully
> digitized collections.
>
> Joyce Chapman
> Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
>
>
> 2009/4/21 Elizabeth H Dow <[log in to unmask]>
>
> >  Good morning,
> >
> >     A few years ago, when I encoded finding aids at the University of
> > Vermont, I became aware that putting inventories on the web had the
> > potential for raising privacy issues to a new level. It's one thing to
> > indicate in a paper finding aid that will sit in a notebook on a shelf of
> an
> > institution that's open 45 hours a week that one has a list of political
> > donors to a contentious political campaign or a list of participants in a
> > radical theater production or old personnel records for a still-active
> > business, and to announce that information on the web for -- literally --
> > the world to see and make of it as it will.
> >
> >     Has anyone else played with this reality as it relates to our
> > professional commitment to protecting third-party privacy? Has anyone
> > experienced unexpected ethical ramifications of having their inventories
> > online?
> >
> >     I now teach EAD and, having covered the technical issues for the
> > semester, want to expand students' thinking about the non-technical
> issues
> > related to EAD.
> >
> >      Thanks in advance for any pithy thoughts and/or case examples.
> >
> > Elizabeth H. Dow
> > Associate Professor
> > School of Library and Information Science
> > Louisiana State University
> >
> >
>
>