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Invisible Knowledge
Meta-Data Diaries: Collective Annotation

Tue 6 December 2016

We live among an abundance of digital information. Much of the material stored in the UK’s feminist and women’s archives, however, cannot be discovered due to limited digital description and cataloging.

Within the workshop we will respond to these important challenges by creating detailed metadata entries for artefacts sourced from the Glasgow Women’s Library and the Feminist Archive.

Describing and tagging items, including newsletters, pamphlets, ephemera, magazines and images, will be a catalyst for sharing our archival knowledge.

Generating metadata will be explored as a practical and collective activity that may help the circulation of feminist knowledge in the digital long-term.

Within the workshop we will ask further questions such as:

How can metadata records be written in ways that enable discovery and also adequately describe the artefact the record stands in for? How can ‘different’ kinds of knowledge generated by feminist social movements become inscribed within metadata? How does metadata enable the transmission of archive material, what are its current uses and future possibilities? What categories do we use to describe artefacts in feminist archives? Who is responsible for creating and annotating material stored within them? What digital literacies need to be acquired and widely socialised to ensure that the feminist archive survives and thrives in a digital information environment?

This will be a hands-on workshop and no previous experience is necessary.

Archivists, non-archivists, researchers and people who want to know more about feminist archives are all welcome to take part.

The workshop will be led by D-M Withers, a writer, researcher and publisher living in Bristol, UK. Their research engages with questions of transmission, the archival, technics and memory within feminist history and epistemology. They are currently involved in a number of research and pedagogical projects that organise and contextualise the theoretical legacy of the women-centred movements of the 70s and 80s. Their book Feminism, Digital Culture and the Politics of Transmission: Theory, Practice and Cultural Heritage, was published in 2015. Other recent projects include Emergenc(i)es and Les Diaboliques in the UK.