Judith Siefring, (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) gives a talk for the 2016 Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School.
The sight of readers taking their own photographs of books, manuscripts and other objects in special collections reading rooms and museum study spaces is becoming increasingly commonplace. This kind of ‘DIY digitization’ reflects changing technologies but also evolving research practices and institutional policies. Its prevalence warrants proper reflection. Why do users want to take their own photographs of special collections? What are the curatorial concerns around allowing them to do so? How does this relate to institutional digital collections delivery? How is user-led photography changing research? And what challenges does it pose for research libraries like the Bodleian and for individual researchers?