Duranti Luciana. Trusting Digital Archives

The article presents the text of speech delivered by Professor Luciana Duranti, the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, at the International scientific and practical conference “From parchment to digit” (Kazan, April 18-20, 2018). The title of Ms Duranti’s speech is “Digital archive: completeness, credibility, safety” which involves continuity when translated into the theoretical archival concept of trustworthiness, as well as change, when related to how to ensure that the reliability, accuracy, and authenticity of digital material – its trustworthiness, that is – be maintained in the long term, even permanently. In archival theory, records’ reliability – that is, their trustworthiness as statements of facts – is based on the competence of their author and the controls on their creation; records’ accuracy – that is, the correctness and precision of their content – is based on the competence of their author and the controls on content recording and transmission; and records’ authenticity – that is, the trustworthiness of records which are what they purport to be, untampered with and uncorrupted – is based on their identity and integrity. If the tested and tried way of accessing the historical truth, even in the digital environment, is to rely on the documentary truth, understanding whose truth we are dealing with requires archivists to use traditional archival principles, concepts and methods; collaborate with technology experts while cultivating their disciplinary and professional knowledge; and produce functional requirements, tools, and guidelines to ensure reliable and accurate records creation and a fully contextualised authentication.
Тип статьи:
Научная статья
Язык статьи:
Английский
Дата публикации:
26.06.2018
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Гасырлар авазы - Эхо веков 2 2018
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The title of this conference, “From Parchment to Digital,” conveys a sense of continuity as well as change. The specific issues I was asked to cover, “Digital archive: completeness, credibility, safety,” involve continuity when translated into the theoretical archival concept of trustworthiness, as well as change, when related to how to ensure that the reliability, accuracy, and authenticity of digital material – its trustworthiness, that is – be maintained in the long term, even permanently.
Beginning with theory, let’s reaffirm the meaning of trust. Some view trust as a four-level progression: from individual, as a personality trait, to interpersonal, as a tie directed from one person to another (son to father), relational, as a property of a mutual relationship (people doing business), and societal, as a feature of a community as a whole. InterPARES Trust, the international multidisciplinary research project that I direct, defines trust as “confidence of one party in another, based on an alignment of value systems with respect to specific actions or benefits, and involving a relationship of voluntary vulnerability, dependence, and reliance, based on risk assessment”. Substantially, trust involves acting without the knowledge needed to act, by substituting the information that one does not have with other information, e.g. the testimony of witnesses, oral tradition, or documentary truth. This is because the historical truth is not directly accessible: facts and acts slide into the past as they happen and can only be known through oral or written accounts of witnesses and the material instruments that embody them, the records.
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