August 03, 2005

week 4

another week that has flown by.

Didn't do much after thursday as I have had this terrible headache for days, and am waiting to see a doctor, and an optician. Up till then though, the week was going well.

Read a little bit of this, little bit of that etc etc. kept plugging away at the database etc etc.

On Tuesday Bob and Bob came to see me and Richard, they are our supervisors. I showed them what I had been doing, and they seemed reasonably impressed with my progress which was a relief.

I've become quite focussed on the question of how potential researchers and students can access and learn from archives, and this has led me to question ( in my mind) hw we are taught in general- are we prepared to go into archives, do I have a wroking knowledge of research methods and social theory, or merely a list of facts to be regurgitated? I've also been thinking and reading about how we should have access to knowledge. Arcives seem like a pure form of knowledge, unmediated, uncontaminated- certainly the ones I'm working on are, as they have only breifly been catalogued, so I am creating knowledge rather than having passed onto me. Are we taught in this method, is the knowledge/ information we learn at university uncontaminated, created by us, active? Or are we simply sponges to absord the flow of knowledge from our lecturers, or are we their lumps of clay to be moulded as they see fit?

ARE WE PASSIVE OR ACTIVE LEARNERS? Being in the archive has certainly made me active, and made me think that i was perhaps to passive prior to this experience. Passive is bad. Passive is not what a sociologist should be.

Well that was my week- in a nutshell. Still poorly at present, and haven;t been to the ibrary this week because of my haedache, but have done some more light reading at home. I dont think there will be much to report on week 5, excpet perharps on how long i had to wait for a doctors appointment!!

Thank you for the commnet by the way dawn- I'm definately going to go to the drum soon. Who would have thought I could get information from the blogs… i think Im becoming addicted :s Just love to hear myself type!

Until my next orginally titled entry!


- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I've been working on various archiving projects for three years now, and they all start with the same two problems – how do we organise the content of the archive – the taxonomy – and how do we label the resources within the archive – the metadata? The problem is that no matter what you do, you are still imposing a particular worldview – ontology – onto the material. The problem is, if you don't do that, then no-one knows how to start.

    04 Aug 2005, 14:46

  2. Paul

    Yep, I've heard a lot of discussion aobut that, authoritie and file levels! It's interesting in the archive I'm currently looking at as the guy (Vanley Burke) who donated the material has very distinct ideas on presentation and use, being an artist and an historian of sorts. these of course can, and I think have come into conflict with the archival procedure. I understand the need dor order, but I think it is important to remeber that the order is not 'natural'.

    04 Aug 2005, 14:58


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