Authority and judgement in the digital archive

Alan Dix, Rachel Cowgill, Christina Bashford, Simon McVeigh, Rupert Ridgewell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The transformative promise of the digital humanities is not without problems. This paper looks at digital archive curation using a database of 19th-century London concerts as a case study. We examine some of the barriers faced in its development, related to expertise, volume and complexity, the gap between cost and benefit, and the desire for an authoritative and complete dataset that forces a particular linear process of curation. We explore the potential for more radical approaches where curation and use are interleaved, and where digitally maintained provenance allows professional judgement to be applied to incomplete, crowdsourced, or automatically processed data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Digital Libraries for Musicology
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-3002-2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2014


  • Concerts
  • Digital archives
  • Digital humanities
  • Ephemera
  • Linked data
  • Musicology
  • Open data
  • Performance history

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