Monday, December 21, 2015

7 Tips for Data Mining Your Digital Archives - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Content mining of archival materials can make for amazing discoveries. Here's how to prepare for the coming influx of researchers who will want access to digital archives as a data source. Today's digital archives are more than a repository of content — they are a new data source for researchers. The computationally-intensive research being performed in the digital humanities, for example, can chart data such as word frequency, proximity, source and other factors to 32 dimensions across decades of previously published journals, newspapers, annual reports or other documents — in a matter of hours. "The human mind can't even conceive of what that would be, but the computer can do that," said Darby Orcutt, the assistant head of collection management at North Carolina State University Libraries. Orcutt and Iris Hanney, president of Unlimited Priorities, a firm that consults with both libraries and vendors with archival collections, recently shared their advice for how to approach the business of content mining with digital archives.

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