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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Geir Grenersen, Kjell Kemi and Steinar Nilsen

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the following questions: what is the origin of the concepts of documents and documentation? Are there a need for these concepts in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the following questions: what is the origin of the concepts of documents and documentation? Are there a need for these concepts in every culture? Who gives the terms for their definitions, and what are the consequences of different terminology?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use interdisciplinary methodology, combining document and information theory and Sámi linguistics. The aim of this paper is to discuss documentation from the perspective of the Sámi, with some examples from other indigenous groups.

Findings

Oral accounts, legends, traditional songs and traces in the landscape are seen as documents and documentation in Sámi and other indigenous cultures. The paper presents different theories in order to interpret and understand the specific information content in indigenous forms of documentation.

Practical implications

Indigenous ways of documentation have been accepted as valid proof of ownership or the right to extensive use of land resources. When no written records exist, oral testimonies and the landscape itself can be seen as documenting traditional use and has been accepted as evidence in high courts in Norway and Canada. The authors have also seen that the rich Sámi snow terminology is used as concepts in different fields of natural sciences.

Originality/value

The Sámi understanding of the concepts of document and documentation contributes to the traditional information and documentation disciplines by introducing ways of seeing natural phenomenon as fundamental forms of information.

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Geir Grenersen

The Sámis are the indigenous population of Northern Scandinavia. When the oppressive policy against the Sámi population in Norway was lightened during the 1960s, many Sámi…

Abstract

Purpose

The Sámis are the indigenous population of Northern Scandinavia. When the oppressive policy against the Sámi population in Norway was lightened during the 1960s, many Sámi communities established language and cultural centers for documentation and development of their language and cultural heritage as the oral tradition lost its ground in the modernization process. This paper aims to discuss how Sámi cultural centers use documentation both as a way of remembering the past and as a political strategy in order to produce evidence for land and water claims.

Design/methodology/approach

The Sámi centers are many‐faceted institutions and document theory is suggested as a theoretical perspective in order to analyze why these institutions were established and how they are functioning today.

Findings

Two cases are presented. The first shows how the centers use documentation as a technique for restoring the past. The second is a ruling in the Norwegian High Court that shows a new turn in what can be accepted as documents proving indigenous land and water claims.

Originality/value

This article is an attempt to introduce document theory as an analytical tool for analyzing the documentation processes in indigenous cultural centers.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 68 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Andreas Vårheim and Roswitha Skare

In museum research, museums are held as vital in maintaining the public sphere. This scoping review takes stock of the present status of museum–public sphere research by…

Abstract

Purpose

In museum research, museums are held as vital in maintaining the public sphere. This scoping review takes stock of the present status of museum–public sphere research by providing an overview of the existing literature as a point of departure for future research. In short, it maps the research aims, theoretical concepts, research methods and findings within the field and identifies research gaps.

Design/methodology/approach

A scoping review methodology is used to provide a knowledge synthesis of the museum–public sphere literature. This approach is instrumental for researching multi-disciplinary, fragmented or underdeveloped research fields. Reviews can help identify otherwise easily overlooked gaps in the research literature and are an essential tool.

Findings

Overwhelmingly, the published literature consists of case studies, some of which are theoretically ambitious. Still, cases are selected without explicit goals regarding analytical or theoretical generalization, and the studies are not placed within a theory-building framework. Moreover, the museum–public sphere research primarily focuses on museums in the core Anglosphere countries and is conducted by researchers affiliated with institutions in those countries. The museum–community relationship is a common research theme addressing engagement with the public through either visitor participation or community participation.

Originality/value

This is the first published scoping review or systematically conducted review and knowledge synthesis of the museum–public sphere research literature to our knowledge. The article finds and discusses a range of research gaps that need to be addressed theoretically and empirically.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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