Provisional Thesis Title: "We Think Not I Think": Harnessing collaborative creativity to archival practice; implications of user participation for archival theory and practice.
I'm a 4th year research student in the Department of Information Studies at UCL, additionally awarded a cross-disciplinary scholarship to spend an additional year at UCLIC during 2012-2013. My research focuses on crowdsourcing and other online participatory approaches in the field of archives and cultural heritage. My PhD research is funded by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in conjunction with The National Archives. During my time at UCLIC, I focused on investigating participants' motivations and experiences of the Old Weather project, working in conjunction with the Citizen Cyberlab research project on citizen science.
More generally, I am interested in the impact of the digital world upon archives and the construction of historical understanding - particularly around issues of long-term digital preservation, and the effects of digitization and digital access upon research practice.
My background is in the humanities, with MA degrees in Classics (Cambridge), and in Archives and Records Management (London). I also have a Professional Diploma in Management from the Open University. Until January 2010, I was Collections Manager at West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS), the largest U.K. local authority archives service outside of London, where I was responsible for the management and strategic development of collections description and stewardship. My career has always included a strong interest in the application of technology to archival practice, and my previous roles at WYAS included responsibility for the Service's software systems and website. Prior to this, I worked as an archivist at the University of Southampton on the Palmerston Papers database.
I am a registered member of the Archives and Records Association (formerly the UK Society of Archivists), and a former committee member of the ARA Section for Archives and Technology. I am also a member of the steering committee of UKAD, the UK Archives Discovery Network. In 2008, I was the recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship to study local digital archives in Australia and the U.S.A.