Digital Collections for the Performing Arts in the UKAbbott, Daisy (2007) Digital Collections for the Performing Arts in the UK. In: Intermediality, Theatricality, Performance, (Re)-presentation and the New Media, 24-29 May 2007, Universities of Montreal and Quebec City, Canada.
Long term, as well as contemporary, access to our cultural and scientific heritage being created in digital form is essential. Such access is challenging. The AHDS (Arts and Humanities Data Service) provides UK higher education with leadership, support, and services for digital preservation. The AHDS is composed of an executive based at Kings’ College London, and five subject-focused teams: Archaeology at the University of York, History at University of Essex, Text at the University of Oxford, Visual Arts at the University of Surrey, and Performing Arts at HATII in the University of Glasgow. During the Spring and Summer of 2006 AHDS Performing Arts conducted an investigation into the creation, use, and needs for digital collections within Performing Arts and Media communities in UK Higher Education. This culminated in the report Getting to Know our Audience: AHDS Performing Arts Scoping Study.
Evidence from the survey and associated interviews which underlie this study confirmed the impression that the development of digital collections in the Performing Arts has progressed at a slower pace than in such other disciplines as archaeology and history. At first this may seem surprising given the vibrant, dynamic, and pioneering nature of Performing Arts communities that exist both within and outside UK higher education. Constructing, sharing, and using digital resources for the Performing Arts teaching and research is tricky; within our designated community there is only limited understanding as to how, if and under what conditions a performance can be represented in digital form for permanent retention, and there is too little synergy and shared action between those who are creating performances and those who study and teach Performing Arts. These are not the only obstacles faced by the Performing Arts; others include rights issues, the conceptual complexities of representing performances in digital form, a lack of available information about collections that do exist, and a failure of funding agencies to acknowledge that for this community the ‘process of creative activity’ is itself a core deliverable.
The findings of the Getting to Know our Audience study of the AHDS Performing Arts provided evidence which has enabled us to chart the UK’s Performing Arts landscape with special attention to research and teaching communities within HE. In this paper we examine how Performing Arts practitioners, researchers, teachers, and students use digital resources in their research and teaching. Our research has provided us with a knowledge of the available collections and a recognition of those that are commonly used, an appreciation of the primary obstacles to the creation of digital resources in the Performing Arts, an understanding of the reasons why digital resources are under-utilised in most Performing Arts disciplines, and information as to which types of materials and sub-disciplines have greatest demand for digital resources for teaching and research. These findings provide the backbone of this paper.
What was most evident in our study was that while we need to document performance, giving preference to print and text as a way to describe performance is not adequate. The Performing Arts research community needs to utilise a diversity of representation approaches that reflect the multimodal vocalities of performance and the creative process. Building on this recognition and our findings about the Performing Arts landscape in UK Higher Education we conclude by considering what constitutes ‘record’ in Performing Arts from materials documenting the process of creating the performance, to appropriate media preservation formats for records of performances. These conclusions indicate ways in which we should direct our expansion of support for digital resource creators and users in UK Higher Education and the kinds of relationships need to develop with the broader Performing Arts communities with the UK and internationally.
|Output Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Schools:||Digital Design Studio|
|Event Title:||Intermediality, Theatricality, Performance, (Re)-presentation and the New Media|
|Event Location:||Universities of Montreal and Quebec City, Canada|
|Event Dates:||24-29 May 2007|
|Deposited By:||Daisy Abbott|
|Deposited On:||21 Nov 2011 11:43|
|Last Modified:||13 Dec 2011 10:26|