Session Title

Digital Skin I: Beyond the Archive: Communicating Manuscript Materiality via Social Media (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Information Studies (HATII), Univ. of Glasgow

Organizer Name

Johanna Green

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Glasgow

Presider Name

Diane G. Scott

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Glasgow

Paper Title 1

Discussant

Presenter 1 Name

Johanna Green

Paper Title 2

Discussant

Presenter 2 Name

Alexandra K. Newman

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, Smithsonian Libraries

Paper Title 3

Discussant

Presenter 3 Name

Colleen Theisen

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Iowa Libraries

Paper Title 4

Discussant

Presenter 4 Name

Laura E. Aydelotte

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Princeton Univ. Library

Start Date

12-5-2018 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1345

Description

Public access to written heritage, here with a focus on medieval manuscripts, presents innumerable challenges, whether this access is via the exhibition space, or digitally via a digital manuscript viewer, and both involve material losses of some kind. Once immobile behind glass, or even once partially disembodied as digital pages, manuscripts are transformed from sensory, material, text technologies into fixed or partially-fixed exhibits. As Loxley et al. point out in their 2011 study of the exhibition of the written word, ‘words are not normally uttered, written or printed with the intention that they should end up in a glass case […] reading, in all its different forms, is […] a fundamentally different activity to that of viewing an object in a museum or a gallery’. (Loxley et al., 2011: 6)

This roundtable therefore seeks to examine the role of social media in i) unlocking the archive for public audiences and ii) in communicating aspects of manuscript materiality often lost in traditional physical exhibitions of manuscripts or via the experience of using digital manuscript viewers. In so doing, it seeks to evaluate the value of social media beyond mere “edutainment” and questions – in the absence of manuscript handling opportunities for many members of the public – if social media can provide a meaningful, alternative, digital “hands-on” with manuscripts as lived objects rather than disembodied pages.

Loxley, J., Marshall, J., Otty, L., Vincent, H. 2011. Exhibiting the Written Word. Edinburgh. <http://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/english-literature/research-activities/recent-research-and-activities/exhibiting-written-word> [Date of Access: 01.06.2017].

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May 12th, 1:30 PM

Digital Skin I: Beyond the Archive: Communicating Manuscript Materiality via Social Media (A Roundtable)

Schneider 1345

Public access to written heritage, here with a focus on medieval manuscripts, presents innumerable challenges, whether this access is via the exhibition space, or digitally via a digital manuscript viewer, and both involve material losses of some kind. Once immobile behind glass, or even once partially disembodied as digital pages, manuscripts are transformed from sensory, material, text technologies into fixed or partially-fixed exhibits. As Loxley et al. point out in their 2011 study of the exhibition of the written word, ‘words are not normally uttered, written or printed with the intention that they should end up in a glass case […] reading, in all its different forms, is […] a fundamentally different activity to that of viewing an object in a museum or a gallery’. (Loxley et al., 2011: 6)

This roundtable therefore seeks to examine the role of social media in i) unlocking the archive for public audiences and ii) in communicating aspects of manuscript materiality often lost in traditional physical exhibitions of manuscripts or via the experience of using digital manuscript viewers. In so doing, it seeks to evaluate the value of social media beyond mere “edutainment” and questions – in the absence of manuscript handling opportunities for many members of the public – if social media can provide a meaningful, alternative, digital “hands-on” with manuscripts as lived objects rather than disembodied pages.

Loxley, J., Marshall, J., Otty, L., Vincent, H. 2011. Exhibiting the Written Word. Edinburgh. <http://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/english-literature/research-activities/recent-research-and-activities/exhibiting-written-word> [Date of Access: 01.06.2017].