Virtual Virtues: What works and does not work for presenting manuscript material online

This is an open discussion about what makes the contents of a digital archive (letters, papers, diaries, etc.), either easy to use or frustrating to use. I thought we might look at the Bexar Archives (UT-Austin), Free People of Color in Louisiana (LSU), the Papers of Andrew Jackson (UTenn-Knoxville), and UFDC’s own Pioneer Days in Florida.

Bexar Archives:

Free People of Color:


Pioneer Days:

James Cusick
Curator, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, UF

Categories: Archives, Research Methods, Session: Talk, Teaching, Text Mining |

About James Cusick

I am the curator for the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at UF and have a background in historical archaeology (colonial period) and history. I am just starting my 17th year as curator and now spend a good deal of time working with the digital component of our collections--both traditional items that we have scanned and new audiovisual materials coming in to us.

2 Responses to Virtual Virtues: What works and does not work for presenting manuscript material online

  1. Thanks, Jim, for this session proposal. If ‘the medium is the message’, it’s always interested me how the digital presence of archives mediates their use. I look forward to others’ thoughts on this topic in this session! I wonder if there is a way to combine this with the digital newspaper session that was also proposed by UF?

  2. James, I was wondering if you were also going to look at digital archives which deliberately thwart user access/experience? (For instance, indigenous digital archives that have different access levels for elders of the community, for that community, and for general users, etc). I am interested in digital archives that are experiential and try to give users not only information about a subject, but try to immerse them in it.

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