School of Information Management & Systems.
142 Access to American Cultural Heritages.
Why is the topic of access to American cultural heritages
1. Cultural heritage is a significant ingredient in individuals'
self-identity and self-esteem,
thereby affecting both individual and the individual's
relationship with others.
2. Cultural heritage is a significant ingredient in the
development of social groups.
3. Cultural heritage is a significant ingredient in how
individuals and social groups are
perceived by others and, thereby, affects relationships
between social groups.
4. Perceptions of cultural heritage are used by those who
wish to influence individuals and groups.
5. Individuals and institutions can be in a position to
influence both cultural heritages and
perceptions of cultural heritage in a variety of ways by
influencing accessibility: preservation,
supression (concealing, destruction), creation, presentation,
-- Individuals and institutions involved in transmitting
knowledge (Individuals, teachers,
museum-keepers, librarians, archivists, archaeologists,
historians, researchers,... )
-- Those who influence cultural heritage by
by setting policies, by making laws,
and by allocating resources (funding, space, opportunities)
-- Everyone eslse, because we are all affected.
6. It opens up studies of information management to a broader, more general
view of the conceptual and
practical aspects of the field because it complements traditional
emphases in information system
(i) Requiring a more extensive view of the scope of information
studies: What is a
"document"? Books in libraries, artefacts in museums, historic
objects,... What else?
(ii) Extending the range of bibliographic description well beyond
customary library objects to
less conventional objects.
(iii) Requiring greater attention to the how meaning and significance
is constructed from
documents by users.
(iv) Shifting the environment of information system design from
practical manipulation of well-defined objects in operational contexts
(e.g. Management Information Systems, data retrieval
systems) into areas that are more socially sensitive, more politicized.
(v) An integrative approach to hitherto rather isolated areas,
notably museum studies,
bibliography, cultural policy, anthropology, rhetoric, education,
What is meant by "access"?
Each of the following aspects
constitutes a type of barrier to
0. Existence / creation / preservation. Documents and objects
need to exist in the first place.]
1. Identification. A suitable source needs to be identified.
This "indicative" access is the realm
of bibliography, documentation, classification, and indexing,
-- of information retrieval.
2. Availability. One needs physical access to whatever it is.
Logistics and technology.
3. Price to The User. The effort and expense accessing something.
4. Cost to The Provider. The effort and expense of providing access.
5. Cognitive Access. Is the document understood? Explanation.
6. Acceptability. Credible? Acceptable?