Abstract 9: Christian van der Ven – „Archives 2.0“ in the Netherlands: Social Media at the BHIC (Brabants Historisch Informatie Centrum)

Social Media @ BHIC: Developing Communities and Being Available

Traditionally patrons have been doing their research in our study rooms. There they will find the resources and access tools that they need. They can also meet other users, exchange knowledge with them, and help each other with a variety of problems and challenges. Last but not least, they will also find us, archivists behind a reference desk, available for asking questions and helping out with their research.

Then why is it that, compared to our physical study rooms, our digital study rooms often stick to access tools, some scanned archives, and an address page for visiting our buildings?

At BHIC archivists have created a digital environment for doing online research. Communication tools such as forums, a chat service, blogs and Twitter have become essential parts in this process. Because of these online connections, it doesn’t really matter anymore for your research whether you live next to our building, or all the way over in New Zealand.

This presentation will discuss the unique way in which BHIC is working with online communities. The focus will be on forums as the best, cost-effective, easy-to-use, and popular platforms for developing a successful community.

„Archives 2.0“ in the Netherlands: Re-Inventing Our Profession

About 5 years ago archives in the Netherlands started experimenting with Web 2.0 related tools. Since then a lot of progress has been made. Not only in the sense of technology, but more so in the sense of attitude. After all Web 2.0 and Social Media are all about Attitude.

How experimenting, open, learning, inviting, flexible, equal, and social have archivists in the Netherlands become? Do we show the audience what we do, and why, how and when we do it? Do we invite users to really participate in our daily work? Do we acknowledge that many of our users in many areas are more skilled than we are, and can we work on reference questions as equals?

Have Dutch archivists truly found their new role in this ever changing online era?

For inspiration and consideration this presentation will update you on all the cool Web 2.0 projects in the Netherlands. And will highlight the Dutch Archives 2.0 online platform as a professional community for archivists. Where a new Attitude is King.

About the speaker:

Christian van der Ven

Christian van der Ven is Coördinator of the Reference Services and Web 2.0 projects at Brabant Historical Information Center (BHIC) in the Netherlands. As „The Digital Archivist“ he is well known for his blog on archives and social media, as the founder of the Dutch Archives 2.0 professional network community, and as coach for the “23 Things For Archivists”, a Web 2.0 training course. And… he is also quite a nice guy. 😉


Elisabeth Steiger

Elisabeth Steiger hat Germanistik und Europäische Ethnologie/Volkskunde an der Universität Würzburg studiert und arbeitet am Cologne Center for eHumanities (Universität zu Köln) und für das International Centre for Archival Research (ICARUS). Außerdem ist sie als Journalistin und Redakteurin tätig. Sie bloggt unter: co:op, Archive2.0, UniBloggT, Archivum Rhenanum – Archives numérisées du Rhin supérieur / Digitale Archive am Oberrhein, Pfälzische Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften und Geschichte Bayerns.

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