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Digital anxiety and cooperation in a networked world

Robert Cox (Robert Cox is Head of the Manuscripts Department, at the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.)
Rachel Onuf (Rachel Onuf is Director of Archives, The Historical Society, Pennsylvania, USA.)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 1 March 2003



In September, 2000, the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) received a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to outsource legacy finding aids for conversion into EAD. By working cooperatively and adopting a novel Lancasterian structure in which early participants in the grant assisted later ones, the grantees developed a robust peer to peer network that resulted in the acquisition of significant local experience, and some expertise, in EAD application. We conclude with the proposition that much of the current digital anxiety besetting our profession is misplaced; rather than fall prey to anxiety over the constant need for adaptation to emerging technologies, archivists should concern themselves more with the critical skills of description, arrangement, and interpretation, the traditional archival skills that are in danger of eroding in the new digital world.



Cox, R. and Onuf, R. (2003), "Digital anxiety and cooperation in a networked world", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 36-40.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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