Push for pull

In the spirit of yesterday’s post, I’m sharing some diagrams.

Last year I gave a conference paper about how user-generated description can improve archival findability. I began with the idea that every use of an archival record can generate a description, which (if it is captured) can make the record more findable in future.


A visual elaboration of this concept is below. It begins in the middle. (And ‘RecordSearch’ is the collection database of the National Archives.)

Circuit of findability and enrichment

Ultimately, my point was also that archives should value users as much as users value archives. Their relationship is interdependent – archives engage users, users enrich archives.


And really, if they are not used and interpreted and shared, archives are irrelevant.

The paper was well received, and I was especially pleased because Eric Ketelaar asked me if he could use the main diagram with his students.

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