Roundtable #1: The Ethics of Born-Digital Collecting

In the Spring and Fall of 2019, the BitCurator Consortium (BCC) will facilitate a series of online roundtable discussions on topics of interest for born-digital cultural heritage communities.

Our first round-table looks at “The Ethics of Born-Digital Collecting.” We're incredibly thrilled to welcome Alexandra Dolan-Mescal (Documenting the Now), Yvonne Ng (, Jessica Venlet (UNC Chapel Hill), and Lauren Work (University of Virginia) who will discuss their experiences and perspectives acquiring, preserving, and facilitating access to sensitive, community-driven born-digital content. The format will be a presentation/discussion facilitated by Educopia and BCC staff.

Discussion questions we plan to address include:

  • What ethical concerns face practitioners in collecting born-digital materials?
  • Does the appraisal process change (or need to change) with sensitive, born-digital materials? Why or why not?
  • What are the risks for archivists and documentarians working in these spaces?
  • How do you communicate with and offer support for creators of “content”
  • When is the right time to communicate with activists?
  • How do you compensate people for their time?
  • What is the process for collecting materials and how do you make pathways more visible to potential donors of sensitive materials?
  • How can we enable community-driven description practices for dynamic content?
  • How are archivists and documentarians handling the issue of consent? What kind of advising happens around collecting tweets?
  • The event takes place online via Zoom video conferencing on Friday, March 22nd from 10:00AM-11:30AM EST.

    ****The round table is now sold out, but we will post a recording of the event on our Videos page on March 27th! Stay tuned.