Benoit receives funding for project from Society of American Archivists Foundation


Dr. Edward Benoit, III, Assistant Professor and coordinator of the Archival Studies program in the School of Library and Information Science, was selected to receive funding for his project, "Analysis of User-Generated Descriptions of Moving Image Materials," by the Society of American Archivists Foundation. He is one of the first scholars funded under this new grant program.

Benoit recently presented his research on the impact of video length for social tagging at the annual meetings of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) and the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC). The grant-funded project will continue his analysis of social tagging, user-generated description, and participatory archives. Focusing on moving image genre, Benoit will analyze the difference between tags generated for amateur and professionally produced digitized films.

Benoit’s past research focused analyzed social tags generated by domain experts and novices in a minimally processed digital archive. With the advent of Web 2.0, crowdsourcing evolved to include user-generated indexing and social tagging, allowing users to arrange, rearrange, and access information through more personal methods while providing additional access points for other users. The archival community faced a massive backlog problem during the past twenty years, to the extent that some archives housed more unprocessed and, therefore, inaccessible, collections than processed ones. The inclusion of tags within digital archives reintroduces some of the access points lost when utilizing a minimal processing approach.

Benoit is also currently conducting research on developing an application for capturing and preserving the personal records of the modern solider through the Virtual Footlocker Project.

His areas of research expertise include community archives, participatory archives, archival access, digital collections, audiovisual materials, and archival pedagogy.

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