Technological Devices in the Archives: A Policy Analysis
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Doing research in the archive is the cornerstone of humanities scholarship. Various archives institute policies regarding the use of technological devices, such as mobile phones, laptops, and cameras in their reading rooms. Such policies directly affect the scholars as the devices mediate the nature of their interaction with the source materials in terms of capturing, organizing, note taking, and record keeping for future use of found materials. In this paper, we present our analysis of the policies of thirty archives regarding the use of technology in their reading rooms. This policy analysis, along with data from interviews of scholars and archivists, is intended to serve as a basis for developing mobile applications for assisting scholars in their research activities. In this paper we introduce an early prototype of such a mobile application— AMTracker.