Understanding value in digital humanities: a case study from a community oral history archive

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dc.contributor.advisor O'Carroll, Clíona en
dc.contributor.advisor Murphy, Orla en
dc.contributor.author Johnston, Penny
dc.date.accessioned 2018-02-16T12:10:08Z
dc.date.available 2018-02-16T12:10:08Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.date.submitted 2018
dc.identifier.citation Johnston, P. 2018. Understanding value in digital humanities: a case study from a community oral history archive. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 242 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/5469
dc.description.abstract This thesis investigates concepts of value and the ways in which it is assessed in the digital humanities. It does this by examining digital cultural heritage projects created by a community oral history archive. Pressures such as increased oversight, funding cuts and changing audience expectations make it necessary for digital humanists to demonstrate the value of their projects. While both quantitative and qualitative methods can be used, long-form qualitative approaches are rarely applied. My research makes an original contribution to the scholarly literature by using a long-form qualitative methodology (participant observation) to study digital projects in context, within the organisations in which they are created. By looking at the “behind the scenes” processes, I have constructed an account of value for my digital project work that concentrates on meaning rather than on measurement. This approach examines criteria such as distinctiveness, the ability to challenge expectations, usefulness, the contribution to fulfilment, whether the material is worth it for its own sake and the contribution that a project can make to public engagement. I argue that, rather than solely examining value through the actions of the end user, value also accrues through making, the process of creation. This thesis also examines the sensitivities and ethical conundrums that emerge when material collected from living subjects is disseminated online. Digital humanists generally endorse open access. In contrast, oral historians frequently adopt a curated approach to online dissemination (because of concerns about ethics and privacy). Drawing on empirical data collected during my digital practice, I argue that it is important to eschew dogmatic and binary positions (curated versus open), and instead adopt reflective approaches to the material that we disseminate online. The ethics debate in digital dissemination is not resolved or over, it part of a cycle of engagement that is nuanced, ongoing and relational. en
dc.description.sponsorship Irish Research Council (GOIPG/2013/328) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2018, Penny Johnston. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Digital humanities en
dc.subject Oral history en
dc.subject Digital cultural heritage en
dc.subject Archive en
dc.subject Community en
dc.subject Value en
dc.subject Living subjects en
dc.subject Ethical issues en
dc.subject Meaning en
dc.subject Qualitative en
dc.subject Reflective en
dc.title Understanding value in digital humanities: a case study from a community oral history archive en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral Degree (Structured) en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Irish Research Council en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Bealoideas / Folklore & Ethnology en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
ucc.workflow.supervisor c.ocarroll@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Spring 2018 en


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© 2018, Penny Johnston. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2018, Penny Johnston.
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