Seminar presentation by Lisa Börjesson at Information Access Seminar, 107 South Hall, UC Berkeley School of Information Friday November 14 2014, 4-5 p.m.Abstract: Knowledge production in archaeology is heavily dependent on field
work documentation, and on efficient dissemination and retrieval of that documentation. As most archaeological surveys and excavations are performed outside university research as contract archaeology, a majority of the documentation is produced and managed in professional settings. The genres of professional documentation, also known as ‘grey literature’, have an ambiguous status in archaeology. On the one hand they represent most of the archaeological undertakings; on the other hand they are accused of being inaccessible and of having low quality content. Academic archaeologists neglecting the grey literature are in turn blamed for being disrespectful of professional archaeologists’ work. The discussion of the ‘grey literature problem’ in archaeology is multifold, but often returns to a tension between academia and the professional sphere. In my dissertation research I argue the focus on the tension between academia and professional archaeology limits understandings and usages of professional archaeology documentation. I propose a perspective on professional archaeology documentation as shaped by a larger context, including policy, public administrative and market logics as well as those of academia and professional work. The seminar presentation will give a line of historical examples supporting the study of archaeology documentation as shaped by a larger context, explain my dissertation research design, and briefly touch upon findings this far.
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