Digital curators at work: analyzing emerging professional identities at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

CLATIN, Marianne and FAUDUET, Louise and OURY, Clément and TRAMONI, Jean-Philippe (2014) Digital curators at work: analyzing emerging professional identities at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF). Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 209 - Strategic Programme on Preservation and Conservation (PAC). In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/934
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Digital curators at work: analyzing emerging professional identities at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

Digital curation is the global concept that includes all aspects of work on digitized and born digital cultural objects: from document entry to data description or indexing, storage, dissemination, and long-term preservation. It is an expanding activity, whose rules and best practices are not globally defined yet. The BnF has chosen to rely on observations on the ground to understand how its staff, faced with the urgent need to collect and preserve a fast-growing digital heritage, is developing new tasks and skills. A dedicated group called ORHION, a French acronym for Observatory of Organizations and Human Resources under Digital Influence, has launched a series of studies on professional identities that are particularly affected by the increasing shift to digital activities. It has so far completed its analysis of two subjects: metadata curation and digital entries. In order to assess the BnF’s practices, ORHION also relies on other institutions’ experiences. It has for instance organized a workshop on web archive curation during this year’s general assembly of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, in May 2014. This paper focuses on the findings of these three use case analyses: the switch from cataloguing to metadata management for description and access; the processes and agents involved in digital entries; and the organization, skills and training of web curating teams. Based on these three experiences, this paper seeks to identify some key trends in digital curation: the notion of digital collection itself is not obvious and needs to be rethought; professional identities are challenged by the apparition of new tasks and the emergence of new actors; stakeholders struggle to understand their own roles and responsibilities in more complex treatment channels. Training staff and sharing the workload between the first pioneers and the rest of the teams are necessary to involve all professionals in digital curation.

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