“From Access to Use: the quality of human-archives interactions as a research question” Visiting Dodson Colloquium with Dr. Pierluigi Feliciati

Join us for a colloquium talk with Dr. Pierluigi Feliciati, our Dodson visiting Professor for Winter Term 2.

From Access to Use: the quality of human-archives interactions as a research question

Access is one of the classical functionalities of archives, and a foundational concept for our disciplinary ethics. Most the activities performed during archives life-cycle are substantially instrumental convergences towards this essential funnel. Records are created essentially with the perspective of being accessed; they are categorized, retained and appraised to guarantee an effective access service; preservation is nothing more than a time-extension of access. Nevertheless, several questions emerge when examining the Archival Science literature on access: it is not frequent a specific attention to this function, and mostly focused on citizens’ rights; rarely the activity of accessing is studied in terms of its quality (usability and final satisfaction); the evident differences between the on-site and the on-line user experience need to be better explored; the archives  user studies are essentially focused on final users, not considering all the chain of human inter-actions along the archives life-cycle; finally, access to data/records is performed also by software agents, directed by human-driven specific algorithms.

This colloquium, after a concise presentation of the state of studies on archival access, aims to advance some possible research lines on the impact of the quality of use on services, to ensure better uses of correctly-managed and trustful archives.



Pierluigi Feliciati, graduated in History at the University of Rome La Sapienza and specialized in Archival Science and in Information Retrieval Applications, since 2007 is Lecturer and Senior Researcher in Records and Information Science at the University of Macerata (Italy), where since 2010 is the vice-president for University Information Systems. He is one of the coordinator of the UniMC research network for SSH and ICT and was founder and president of the spin-off company PlayMarche, specialized in ICT apps for Cultural Heritage. Previously, since 1986, he served as an archivist for the Italian National Archives, and was the coordinator of the National Archives web information system. His current research focuses on the quality of content and users’ interaction and engagement in archival digital environments and on administrative and conservation metadata for archives. He is Dodson Visiting Profesor at the iSchool (Library, Archives and Information Studies) of UBC (Jan-Mar 2019).