Upcycling historical data collections : A paradigm for digital history?

Faculty/Professorship: Digital History  
Author(s): Scheltjens, Werner  
Title of the Journal: Journal of documentation
ISSN: 0022-0418
Publisher Information: Bradford : Emerald
Year of publication: 2023
Issue: Online First
Pages: 1-31
Language(s): German
DOI: 10.1108/JD-12-2022-0271
Upcycling is conceptualised as a digital historical research practice aimed at increasing the scientific value of historical data collections produced in print or in electronic form between the eighteenth and the late twentieth centuries. The concept of upcycling facilitates data rescue and reuse as well as the study of information creation processes deployed by previous generations of researchers.

Based on a selection of two historical reference works and two legacy collections, an upcycling workflow consisting of three parts (input, processing and documentation and output) is developed. The workflow facilitates the study of historical information creation processes based on paradata analysis and targets the cognitive processes that precede and accompany the creation of historical data collections.

The proposed upcycling workflow furthers the understanding of computational methods and their role in historical research. Through its focus on the information creation processes that precede and accompany historical research, the upcycling workflow contributes to historical data criticism and digital hermeneutics.

Many historical data collections produced between the eighteenth and the late twentieth century do not comply with the principles of FAIR data. The paper argues that ignoring the work of previous generations of researchers is not an option, because it would make current research practices more vulnerable and would result in losing access to the experiences and knowledge accumulated by previous generations of scientists. The proposed upcycling workflow takes historical data collections seriously and makes them available for future generations of researchers.
GND Keywords: Digitalisierung; Daten; Geschichtswissenschaft
Keywords: Data collection, Digital History, FAIR principles, Paratext, Information creation, Data rescue, Legacy collections, Paradata, Reference works, Retrodigitization
DDC Classification: 900 History  
RVK Classification: NB 2800   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/59128
Release Date: 18. April 2023