Living Archives: Developing Prototypes for the Future of Archives as Resource for Societal Learning, Cultural Awareness and Narratives for Hong Kong

Waltraut Ritter, Hong Kong

Archival institutions around the world are moving into new ways of capturing storing, and using public and private documents, stories, images, videos and sound. Digital systems of distributed custody of the holdings of both public institutions and private individuals and communities are already in place in many countries, creating new ways of social computing applications and collaborative exploration of cultural and historic content, extending access and usability to future generations.

Social computing and networked technologies have dramatically transformed archival practices in the past years. Digitization of cultural assets alone is not enough to revitalize archives; the challenge is to use new technology and innovation approaches to build a community-driven, participatory and critical awareness around the societal value of archives.

The workshop will discuss the current situation and practices of Hong Kong’s organizations with regard to their openness, accessibility and potential for innovative engagements with the community.

There are many public and private archives in Hong Kong; most of them contain largely proprietary content, operating as dispersed organizational entities with no shared virtual or physical space.

How can digital cultural and historical content become a resource for social change, innovation and imaginary?

The workshop uses Hong Kong as example, but the issues are similar in other countries in Asia, so everyone is welcome.

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