Developing Technology at UPenn Archives

Throughout our discussions in class we have re-emphasized the importance of accessibility an enumeration of times. One of the most important facets of digital history archives is the accessibility of the information to multiple demographics and backgrounds of the public audience. Our trip to Penn and the work which they are completing at the archive there further supports the building narrative that open access to historical archives and their messages is a dimensional and important process to effectively complete.

The most poignant aspect of this is the communication between the articulation of population “wants” in reference to accessibility of archives and the response of attempts by archivists to create and program things which increase accessibility. This particular archive at Penn shows the innovative nature of such programming, with a feature that offers a greater perspective to the physicality of a book by using an interactive feature that establishes full leaf and choir dimensions of the pages within their manuscripts.

The influence of technology is also seen through the archivist’s use of modern media platforms and tools to articulate the physical contents of their manuscripts. An interesting example of this was the use of GIFs to show one manuscripts inclusion of a dimensional orbital graphic. Technology such as GIFs are nothing new to computers or media users, but the use of tools such as this demonstrates the adaptive nature of digital archiving.

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