Key Research

From broadly researching into my topic, I have focussed my attention on this secondary research:

Does Archive Information want to be Free?

Free by Chris Anderson (Book) – This book discusses what ‘free’ or ‘zero price’ means in the current digital economy. Anderson explores the psychology behind ‘free’; different models of ‘free’ and also reflects on the digital activist saying “information wants to be free”. I found this book after looking around the “information wants to be free” quotation. I have found this book particularly relevant for my research into digital economies for me to then make links to the migration of archives into this virtual economy.

David Campbell Blog (online article) – Campbell directly uses Anderson’s book to further discuss ‘zero pricing’. Campbell focuses on the idea of direct cost and its correlation to information abundance/scarcity. He shortly argues that the cost to produce and distribute is so low cost that creativity and sharing is increasing: however, I would like to counter argue this point, with relation to physical archive and its digitisation before distribution.

Cory Doctorow (online article) – “Saying Information Wants To Be Free Does More Harm Than Good” is an article discussing digital information barriers and restrictions and how the cost is increasing to protect or close information in a sharing-rich digital world. He explores how people/activists want to experience information and why: “they want to build on earlier creative works in order to create new, original works because this is the basis of all creativity, and every work they wish to make fragmentary or inspirational use od was, in turn,compiled from the works that went before it.”

Big Lottery Fund (papers) – These issues I have selected (16 and 26) explore and evaluate the digitisation fund ‘Digi’ from the National Lottery Fund from 1999, to which £50 million of tax payers’ money was invested. The papers explain what the project was and what its aims were before evaluating its success. I found this extremely valuable: I from a consumer’s perspective have criticised publicly funded archives; however, reading self criticism by the funders is particularly useful to identify whether they agree or not.

Web design websites/blogs (online blogs) – Online technical blogs explore what it means to have a successful website and why. They discuss visual understanding and psychology of how consumers use the Internet. This means that I can create a set of criteria to mark my case studies against so that comparison can be made under the same headings. It is then in my interest to further research how much a fully developed website would cost a company or organisation.


I am currently in the process of recalling papers fromt the Sunderland conference of Photography from 2011.


I have been looking at examples of:

Commercial Archives

Getty: Photographic Archive to purchase

Time Magazine: Magazine Archive with subscription fee to see printed works

Magnum: Photographic Archive to purchase prints

Publicly Funded Archives

Library of Congress: USA Government funded public records library

British Library: UK Government funded library

Belfast Exposed: Photography/Media Archive of Belfast Community

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