LSU’s Benoit Explores Archivists’ Use of Social Media and New Technologies in a New Book


October 11, 2019           

BATON ROUGE–LSU School of Library & Information Science Associate Director Edward Benoit III, PhD, and Wellcome Collections Information Manager Alexandra Eveleigh, PhD, recently released Participatory Archives, a new book that examines the role digitization and social media has played in the rise of participatory and DIY digital culture.

In response to the trend, the archival community has leveraged these new technologies, aiming to engage users and expand access to collections. This book examines the creation and development of participatory archives, evaluates its impact on archival theory, and presents case studies of its real world application.

Available from Facet Publishing, Participatory Archives: Theory and Practice’s four sections focus on different aspects of participatory archives: 

• social tagging and commenting

• transcription

• crowdfunding and 

• outreach & activist communities. 

Each section includes chapters summarizing the existing literature, a discussion of theoretical challenges and benefits, and a series of case studies. The case studies are written by a range of international practitioners and provide a wide range of practice examples. Leading scholars from Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States supply the remaining chapters.

This book is a valuable resource for students involved in archival studies programs, scholarly researchers in archival studies who could use the book to frame their own research projects, and practitioners who might be most interested in the case studies to see how participatory archives function in practice. The book may also be of interest to other library and information science students, and similar audiences within the broader cultural heritage institution fields of museums, libraries and galleries.

Edward Benoit, III PhD, is assistant professor and Russell B. Long Professor at the School of Library & Information Science at Louisiana State University. He is the coordinator of the archival studies and cultural heritage resource management programs, and the founder of the Virtual Footlocker Project, which examines the personal archiving habits of the 21st century soldier, in an effort to develop new digital capture and preservation technologies to support their needs.

Alexandra Eveleigh PhD, is collections information manager at Wellcome Collection in London, where her role complements her research interests in user experiences and digital technologies in library, archive and museum contexts. From 2014 to 2016 she held academic positions in information studies and digital humanities at University College London (UCL) and the University of Westminster respectively, following her PhD thesis at UCL, in collaboration with The National Archives entitled ‘Crowding Out the Archivist? Implications of online user participation for archival theory and practice’ (2015).

About SLIS

The LSU School of Library & Information Science (SLIS) provides a 100% online prestigious education in library and information science. It is the home of the Master of Library and Information Science, which is the only program accredited by the American Library Association in the state of Louisiana. SLIS offers, dual degree with the Department of History, two undergraduate minors, and three certificate options. SLIS is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education, or CHSE, is a nationally accredited division of LSU. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer eight undergraduate degree programs, 20 graduate programs and seven online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,795 undergraduate and 1,935 graduate students. The college is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

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Adrian Hirsch

LSU College of Human Sciences & Education


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