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Memory in a Digital Age: Collecting, Accessing and Forgetting

14 April, 9:00-13:30, Robert Emmet Theatre, Arts Building

Record of the event on Storify.

This half-day seminar was chaired by Karlin Lillington of the Irish Times. It formed part of “The Library of the Future; the Future of the Library” programme of events for 2015-2016, in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences programme of events for Trinity Week. The theme for the week was “Memory”.

The digital age has enabled an unprecedented era of creativity, innovation and knowledge-sharing but has also created new challenges for documenting and preserving contemporary knowledge and culture. With such a vast amount of digital content available, how do we decide what we keep, how we access it and what we want to delete? Over the course of this half-day seminar a number of expert speakers addressed these issues and attempted to answer these questions.


09:00 Welcome and Introduction:
Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist

09:15 Collecting
(presented by the Library of Trinity College Dublin)

Lightning talks illustrating the Library’s role in initiatives focused on ensuring ‘at risk’ digital content survives for future generations.

  • Speaker: Margaret Flood, Keeper, Collection Management
    Title: Going, going gone – What can libraries do about the digital black hole?
  • Speaker: Arlene Healy, Sub-Librarian, Digital Systems and Services
    Title: Mandated Digital Collecting – UK Non-Print Legal Deposit
  • Speaker: Dr Christoph Schmidt Supprian, Sub-Librarian Collection Management
    Title: Voluntary Digital Collecting – edepositIreland
  • Speaker: Dr Brendan Power, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
    Title: Voluntary Digital Collecting – The 1916 Rising Web-Archiving Project

10:15 Coffee Break

10:45 Accessing
(presented by the School of English)

  • Speaker: Dr Mark Sweetnam, Assistant Professor, School of English
    Title: “Six by nine. Forty two.” or How to Ask the Ultimate Question
  • Speaker: Dr Seamus Lawless, Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science.
    Title: Why search is hard, and why search in cultural heritage is REALLY hard

 11:45 Break

12:00 Forgetting
(presented by the School of Law)

  • Speaker: Antoin Ó Lachtnain, Digital Rights Ireland (DRI)
    Title: The virtue of privacy in a digital age
  • Speaker: Malachy Browne, Managing Editor & Europe Anchor of
    Title: What is the first rough draft of history in a digital age?
  • Speaker: William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition
    Title: Forgetting to remember: if we want to preserve anything we will need to dispose of something

13:00 Questions & Answers with all speakers