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Policies and Practices in Access to Digital Archives: Towards a New Research and Policy Agenda

Central European University


Learning Objectives
It is an aim of the course to address the gap that continues to widen between archival policies and practice at both the European and international level by offering practitioners an overview of institutional norms and legal frameworks that have gradually become dissociated from both archival practices and broader social concerns. A special emphasis will be placed on the issues surrounding the use of archives within research and teaching.

Placing the digitalization of archival collections in a wider policy context, lectures will address the overlap of proprietary rights, research needs and data management and the frictions arising therefrom; regional and international legal frameworks will be situated within the archival domain and participants with diverse disciplinary viewpoints will engage in critical discussion of the application of these laws.
Training Fee
EUR 300 (Early Bird fee of EUR 270 before 30 April 2012)
Target Audience1
Contact E-Mail
02 Jul 2012 - 06 Jul 12

Application deadline: 15 February 2012

The Central European University invite applicants for an intensive one-week summer session in Budapest from 2 July-6 July, 2012.

This course has been developed to meet the specific needs of established professionals looking to deepen their impact on policy issues related to digital archives. The creation of a diverse coalition of experts is an envisioned goal of the course.

This course is intended to serve as a bridge between archivists, curators, researchers, legal experts and policymakers whose work deals with digital records, cultural heritage collections and/or open data. Launching an itinerary to reform the political and statutory landscape by uniting the efforts of key stakeholders is one of the broad purposes of the course.

Short and long-term access to archival records is socially and culturally significant. New licensing frameworks and austere policies can often make conditions for the re-use of material unmanageable for archival curators. But innovative research and policy agendas cannot be considered without a recognition and understanding of the range of interests implicated.

Legal uncertainty and restrictive regulations may jeopardize the European knowledge ecosystem by limiting access to information; a thorough analysis of this new environment has become increasingly imperative.

The challenges faced in developing and implementing policies with appropriate levels of control and information management practices, particularly in the public sector, are matters that must be examined, debated and determined by an array of stakeholders. Institutional and national settings differ significantly across the archival domain and so do the challenges and barriers that have emerged.

Outreach channels and the creation of a guideline-generating coalition of experts are also envisioned.

Prerequisites: Applicants will be selected on the basis of their qualifications and experience as well as their interest in collaborating beyond the scope of this course to the development of policy proposals. Prior to the summer session participants are invited to prepare papers on topics to be determined following discussions with the course directors.

Practitioners from the field of archives, research, law and policy making are encouraged to apply.

The course deals with the contemporary complexities of accessibility and the long-term preservation of archival material within institutional settings. It will explore the driving/prohibitive role of IPR and various implications of the regulation of digital material: Will access to primary sources become the luxury of the few under a new type of digital divide? Do we have evidential data of the market value of digitised archival collections? What kind of policy agenda will ensure the future availability of cultural heritage content? What kind of strategy will guarantee that archives within the digital European single market are sustainable? The course will consist of intensive teaching sessions and participants will be expected to prepare a paper in advance for presentation purposes.

Please note that places are limited to 30 participants and offered on a competitive basis. This summer course is able to offer a limited amount of grants. Applicants will be asked to explain what their engagement with archival material is and what particular policy-related issues they consider most challenging. The deadline for application is February 15, 2012.

For further information and to apply, please visit the CEU Summer University website: http://www.summer.ceu.hu/node/350

1. Based on DPOE audience levels.

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