Audio-visual Collections and the User Needs of Scholars in the Humanities: a Case for Co-Development
The aim of this paper is to reflect on the factors that impede a clear communication and a more fruitful collaboration between humanities scholars and ICT developers. One of the observations is that ICT-researchers who design tools for humanities researchers, are less inclined to take into account that each stage of the scholarly research process requires ICT-support in a different manner or through different tools. Likewise scholars in the humanities often have prejudices concerning ICT-tools, based on lack of knowledge and fears of technology-driven agendas. If the potential for methodological innovation of the humanities is to be realized, the gap between the mindset of ICT-researchers and that of archivists and scholars in the humanities needs to be bridged. Our assumption is that a better insight into the variety of uses of digital collections and a user-inspired classification of ICT-tools, can help to achieve a greater conceptual clarity among both users and developers. This paper presents such an overview in the form of a typology for the audio-visual realm: examples of what role digital audio-visual archives can play at various research stages, and an inventory of the challenges for the parties involved.