This stream focuses on the practical and theoretical challenges and possibilities facing students when using secondary data stored in formal archives and collections, or when working with diverse ‘documents of life’, such as personal texts, photographs, artefacts and objects, or other forms of material culture and visual culture. This stream will consider how researchers can work effectively with a wide range of archived sources, whether formally archived or not, as well as some of the analytical challenges of working with both textual and non-textual data.
Topics of interest to expand upon include (but are in no way limited to) the following:
- Personal experiences of working with archives, collections or ‘found’ data.
- The pros and cons of creating your own archive or collection in the course of your studies.
- The ways in which the provenance of archives, collections or documents of life can shape the way we use them
- The impacts of digitisation on engagement with archives and collections, including how digital information may shape future sources
- The possibilities for using ‘documents of life’ in provocative ways to generate new data