Comprehensiveness of Archives: A Modern AI-enabled Approach to Build Comprehensive Shared Cultural Heritage

Published in Datafication + Cultural Heritage ECSCW 2020, 2020

Recommended citation: Gupta, Abhishek, and Nikitasha Kapoor. "Comprehensiveness of archives: A modern AI-enabled approach to build comprehensive shared cultural heritage." arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.04541 (2020).

Archives play a crucial role in the construction and advancement of society. Humans place a great deal of trust in archives and depend on them to craft public policies and to preserve languages, cultures, self-identity, views and values. Yet, there are certain voices and viewpoints that remain elusive in the current processes deployed in the classification and discoverability of records and archives. In this paper, we explore the ramifications and effects of centralized, due process archival systems on marginalized communities. There is strong evidence to prove the need for progressive design and technological innovation while in the pursuit of comprehensiveness, equity and justice. Intentionality and comprehensiveness is our greatest opportunity when it comes to improving archival practices and for the advancement and thrive-ability of societies at large today. Intentionality and comprehensiveness is achievable with the support of technology and the Information Age we live in today. Reopening, questioning and/or purposefully including others voices in archival processes is the intention we present in our paper. We provide examples of marginalized communities who continue to lead “community archive” movements in efforts to reclaim and protect their cultural identity, knowledge, views and futures. In conclusion, we offer design and AI-dominant technological considerations worth further investigation in efforts to bridge systemic gaps and build robust archival processes.

Datafication + Cultural Heritage ECSCW 2020