The Valuing Our Scans team was happy to present findings and receive feedback from Native American librarians and archivists at the 2015 meeting of the Association for Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums. We presented “Understanding the Impact of Digitized Ethnographic Collections” at a session on Saturday, September 12. At the session, Ricky Punzalan (University of Maryland, Diana Marsh (University of British Columbia), and Robert Leopold (Smithsonian Institution) described our ongoing research. We described the ways in which we are working to articulate, in respectful and meaningful ways, the value of providing access to digitized ethnographic collections for both cultural heritage institutions and Indigenous source communities.
We were honored to receive feedback from tribal LAM professionals and Native American
community members who helped to improve our understandings of the practical applications of the study. We facilitated feedback through a focus group discussion, which treated various questions, including: What are the meaningful impacts of digitization that matter to tribal LAM professionals? How do we document and assess these impacts?
Our goal was to encourage open and honest discussions on how to appropriately design the necessary tools and methods for capturing meaningful and impactful outcomes of digitization. We learned as well about potential negative impacts of digitization that may not have been previously considered, documented, or expressed.
The complete ATALM 2015 program is available here.