Networks in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM): CfP Networks 2021

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Via the session organizers:

Session 4. Analysing Networks in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM)

Organizers: John R. Hott (University of Virginia), Francesca Odella (University of Trento)

Primary Organizer: John R. Hott

Abstract: This session aims at discussing approaches in analysing networks in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) and to provide a view of current projects and results in promoting a network analysis perspective in cross-disciplinary studies.

As artefacts are becoming increasingly digital and/or digitized, there has been an increase in organizing, describing, and storing them in archival and library contexts, as illustrated by many digitalized historical archives. The increasing availability of information about artefacts opens the possibilities to analyse the connections between them in terms of references, creators and actors, as well as in terms of cross-referenced information such as shared themes, location and visitors.

At first, most of the initiatives to establish networked data by organizations and institutions focused on disciplinary perspectives and implemented specialized information classification, such as in the case of historical archival and libraries. In order to progress research, however, it is important that networks from archives, museums, and library sources interconnect and allow multiple standards and cross-classification of their artefacts. Recent undertakings, such as the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) cooperative, have worked to connect repositories to share descriptions and benefit from the conceptualization of the documents, artefacts, and creators as social-documentary networks. In the European context, similarly, international institutions and organizations (Europeana, Wikidata among them) and historical archives (such as Kalliope), already provide researchers access to common classification sets and relational data sources and are promoting projects to interconnect GLAM contexts.

These initiatives reveal that a shared methodological framework, such as social network perspective in particular, is becoming central for setting guidelines, organizing repertories, and linking data from multiple institutions. Specifically, the possibility to design and perform cross-disciplinary research and to establish new connections across cultures, historical traditions, and forms of knowledge (material and digitized) will be triggered by aligning viewpoints in data organization and data access. Network researchers, in this sense, will have more opportunities to experiment new methodological approaches in their studies, as well as to understand the social contexts of artefacts and their information processing.

Taking inspiration from such reflections and examples we solicit submissions of research works dealing with

– projects aimed at developing a network perspective of galleries, archive, museums and library collections (GLAM)

– results of analysis over networks consisting of GLAM data

– methods and strategies for extracting networked data from GLAM contexts


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