Doctoral Posters #9-12
Purpose/Objective of study: The purpose of this project is to conduct an historical study on E.J. Josey. It aims to examine him as a leader, specifically analyzing how he rose to prominence at a time when blacks were struggling for basic civil rights. His story mirrors the wider movement by African American professionals in professional organizations prior to and during the era of civil rights.
Sample and Setting: Interviewees were selected via purposive snowball sampling. Individuals were identified from interviews with Josey and from the secondary literature. During their interview, informants were asked for potential participants and they were subsequently contacted. Interviews were conducted at the homes and offices of each participant.
Method (Qualitative, quantitative, historical, etc): Historical inquiry draws from what is commonly known as the qualitative research paradigm rather than a quantitative, positivist, experimental orientation. An essential principle of historical methodology is to obtain understanding of how events and/or conditions occurred in the past. A second characteristic of the historical method is to establish facts in order to arrive at conclusions concerning past events. Based on these distinctions, historical method is an ideal strategy in understanding Josey’s rise to prominence as a leader, scholar and activist of civil rights in the modern library profession.
Data collection technique(s) (Interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, etc): Oral history interviews and extensive documentary research are the primary data-gathering techniques that were employed for this study. Twelve individuals were interviewed and several archives were consulted that included; the ALA Archives, personal papers of Josey at North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences.
Results: Triangulation of data from secondary sources, oral history interviews and documentary research will inform the findings for this study. Preliminary results indicate that E.J. Josey indeed was an effective leader who still remains a positive role model for all librarians.
Purpose/Objective of study: Appraisal is the process through which archivists decide which records will be permanently retained as archives. Central to appraisal is determining the records’ evidential value. Over the years, appraisal criteria and methods have elicited intense debate. The emergence of electronic records has added more complexity to the discussion. Their nature that allows transformation, their vulnerability, and the chaotic way in which they are frequently maintained, challenge the capacity to establish their evidential value. My dissertation presents an inductive appraisal method designed to determine what type of evidence of the organization that created them is provided by a corpus of electronic text records. The attributes characterizing the corpus at hand led to develop the concept of natural electronic archives that allowed transforming the corpus into a unit of analysis.
Sample and Setting: The corpus belongs to an Argentine philanthropic agency whose activities span from 1985 until 2005. In the early 1990s the organization implemented a networked server. In it, each employee had a virtual folder to store records and everybody could access each other’s files. Within each folder, individual preferences ruled how records were named, used, organized, kept and discarded. Complete and incomplete documents, versions, and personal records, are ubiquitous. Across folders, similar fragments of text constitute the core of many documents. In this environment that I define as a natural electronic archive, records are difficult to identify and lack formal documentation.
Methods: Determining archival evidence implies being able to map the organization through its records. Text Mining and Social Network Analysis use computing algorithms to discover knowledge about the relations among texts. By measuring the similarity between text records created and co-created by employees within frameworks of time and provenance, the strength of relationships between them and the functions that they represent can be established. Nine sets, each containing the records produced by the employees during a year were processed. These comprise 18,000 records from the years 1997 to 2005. In each set, Text Mining was used to calculate the average of the similarities between every record of pairwise employees. For these purposes, software pieces were modified and others created. The resultant matrices were submitted to Social Network Analysis software to obtain a network drawing. To validate the results, I interviewed former employees about functions, work-processes, records creation and keeping, and collaboration. The drawings were contrasted against their answers about who they collaborated with, when, and in what. The graphic below corresponds to the year 1998 (1230 records).
Data collection technique(s): A copy of the corpus from the networked server was made onto a portable hard-drive. The 17 semi-structured interviews – 70% of the population – were recorded. Data points were transcribed and organized in different tables for analysis.
Results: Results indicate that it is possible to obtain evidence from the records of a natural archive. In sequence, the yearly graphics show the organization’s structure and reveal changes in work dynamics that agree with the accounts of the employees. Instead of intuition and art, as appraisal has been characterized, the opportunity exists to make of appraisal a research endeavor.
11. Donghee Sinn
Abstract: It has been assumed that archival materials are one of the major sources for historical research. However, little is known about how much impact archival holdings actually have on the process of recording history and what role they play in building public knowledge about a historical event. The case of the No Gun Ri massacre provides a good example of archival contributions in historical discussions. There was a mass killing of refugees by American soldiers at No Gun Ri, a small village in South Korea during the Korean War. From the beginning of its publicity, this incident caused considerable controversy about the massacre itself, the veracity of sources involved, and the interpretation of military documents. This dissertation examines how archival materials were discovered and used in the process of No Gun Ri history by examining the earliest to the most recent publications, research patterns of the authors and their perceptions on using archives. There were many aspects, which are not accordance with assumptions of archivists about archives users, identified in this study. Archival programs should have an accurate understanding about how their holdings are used (or not used) and why. Consequently, this study regarding the use of archival materials in understanding the No Gun Ri massacre will provide the fundamental information within an empirical framework.
Purpose/Objective of study: To address how the development of knowledge about the No Gun Ri massacre have evolved according to the emergence of new information, especially from archival materials, and how and why archival materials play a role in this process.
Sample and Setting: First set of data was publications on No Gun Ri. By reviewing publications, the evolution of No Gun Ri discussions and using source materials for the inference of No Gun Ri history were identified. Second set was interviews with No Gun Ri researchers for investigating informal methods of research and their perception on using archives.
Method: Qualitative method (content analysis): The contents analysis of the publications on No Gun Ri was conducted, and the analyzed data were processed with qualitative data analysis software, NVIVO. Categories of contents were elaborated according to the properties of No Gun Ri discussions and a coding scheme was developed based on the categories. The content analysis technique was also used for interviews. Interview transcripts were analyzed, using similar process of the publication analysis with NVIVO.
Data collection technique(s):