Big Ideas: ‘An heroic, slow-motion cataloguing of life’: ethics and digitisation
A culture shift is taking place in the Wellcome Library’s Special Collections team. Driven by a growing realisation that past acquisition policies have left patient perspectives on health and well-being woefully under-represented, they have started to re-evaluate what kinds of material may constitute an ‘archive’. Focusing on an exciting, non-traditional ‘archive’ acquired earlier this year, Helen Wakely reflects on the issues and opportunities that such challenging collections present to the Library.
Helen Wakely is Archive Project Manager at the Wellcome Library. She has responsibility for sensitivity assessment and access issues in the library’s Special Collections, and takes a special interest in promoting public engagement with its archive collections, particularly in the area of food history.