Archives studies, Digital heritage, Information science, Law, Public policy

In co-operation with the Information Program, Open Society Foundations   and

the Open Society Archives (OSA) at Central European University

The course is also co-sponsored by the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing 

Course date

2 July - 6 July, 2012
15 February, 2012
The application process is closed; no more applications will be reviewed.
Course Director(s): 

Milena Dobreva

Information and Archive Studies, University of Malta

Gabriella Ivacs

Open Society Archives, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Carla Basili

National Research Council/Sapienza University, Rome, Italy/The European network for Information Literacy (EnIL)

Joy Davidson

Digital Curation Centre, University of Glasgow, UK

Charles Farrugia

National Archives, Rabat, Malta

Vera Franz

Information Policy and Intellectual Property Reform initiatives, Open Society Information Program, New York, USA

Paul Keller

Knowledgeland, Amsterdam The Netherlands

István Rév

Open Society Archives, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Raivo Ruusalepp

Institute of Information Studies, Tallinn University, Estonia

Harry Verwayen

Europeana, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Ivan Szekely

Open Society Archives, Central European University/ Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary

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. 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.

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.

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. 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.