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Tweeting New Value Propositions for Public Memory

February 18, 2013

We are currently gearing up for the next Twitter chat on Monday 25th February between 8pm and 9pm (just follow #cardcont to join in). The text under debate is Daniel Caron and Richard Brown “The Documentary Moment in the Digital Age: Establishing New Value Propositions for Public Memory”. The full version can be found in Archivaria 71, which is part of the reserved collection. A shorter version is available from the Library and Archives Canada website.

At our face to face meeting in January the article provoked a lot of debate, both about its content and its context, but the questions to be discussed on Monday are as follows;

  1. The article states that “some memory institutions have decided not to make any decisions about the memory value of information resources by simply engaging within comprehensive collecting within specified domains, or by announcing their institutional intentions to do so as an organizational declaration of public memory default”. Is collecting in accordance with a collecting policy an abdication of your responsibility to make decisions about the memory value of your holdings?
  2. Do you agree that “the public memory monopoly once exercised by archives, libraries and museums, and others” has effectively ended?
  3. Do you agree that it is significant that “the distinction between the author and the public ‘is about to lose its basic character'”?
  4. Is it enough for public memory institutions to ” concern themselves primarily with the identification and survivability of the information resources and documents articulating the modern democratic state and its broader domain of inter-sectoral governance and activities”?
  5. If as the article suggests “selecting, or collecting, or other analog memory strategies are not viable or feasible within cyberspace”, what are?

Not very easy questions, but hopefully ones that will spark off a lot of debate. Until Monday…


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