Selected Annotated Bibliography


Krause, Magia Ghetu and Elizabeth Yakel. “Interaction in Virtual Archives: The Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections Next Generation Finding Aid,” American Archivist 70 (1): 282-314.

This article discusses a research project at the University of Michigan evaluating the incorporation of Web 2.0 technologies into finding aids. It offers insights into how social navigation features might be used to enhance finding aids and make archival materials more accessible.

Samouelian, Mary E. “Embracing Web 2.0: Archives and the Newest Generation of Web Applications,” American Archivist 72 (1): 42-71.

This article examines how archivists are beginning to embrace Web 2.0 technologies to promote their digital content and redefine relationships with their patrons. The author argues that archivists need to embrace technology in order to successfully engage with researchers and to not fade into obscurity. Utilizing these technologies will provide us with the greatest opportunity to provide more access to our materials and to enrich the research experience.

Yakel, Elizabeth. “Inviting the User into the Virtual Archives,” OCLC Systems & Services 22 (3): 159-163.

This article discusses how archives are utilizing Web 2.0 technologies and gives examples of successful Web 2.0 implementations. It also highlights how archivists can potentially use Web 2.0 to improve their services to their patrons. Yakel argues that archivists need to reconceptualize the roles of the archivist and the researcher and that this reconceptualization might involve ceding control over some of descriptive products to the users.


Ojala, Marydee. “Blogging: For knowledge sharing, management and dissemination,” Business Information Review 22 (4): 269-276.

This article examines how blogs can be used as knowledge management tools. The author points out that blogs can be used to share information about new resources, promote information sharing, and to enhance an institution’s visibility with its constituents. The author argues that information professionals, and this includes archivists, can utilize blogs to add significant value to their institutions and the sharing of information within those institutions. Blogs can also be used to share information and interact with our outside constituencies as well.

Vogel, Terry M. and Doug Goans. “Delivering the News with Blogs: The Georgia State University Library Experience,” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 10 (1): 5-27.

This article discusses how librarians at Georgia State University developed a blog, Science News, to communicate information on resources and services available to science faculty and students. It talks about the benefits of blogs including their ability to be updated frequently as well as the opportunity for patrons to interact with the content. Preliminary user statistics show that patrons are reading the blog.

Photo sharing sites

Matusiak, Krystyna K. “Towards User-Centered Indexing in Digital Image Collections,” OCLC Systems & Services 22 (4): 283-298.

This article discusses traditional indexing of digital image collections and compares it to the social classification that is allowed at photo sharing sites like Flickr that allow users to add tags to their images. It highlights the problems with social classification while at the same underscoring the commitment created in users when they are allowed to provide their own classifications.

Springer, Michelle, Beth Dulabahn, Phil Michel, Barbara Natanson, David Reser, David Woodward, and Helena Zinkham. For the Common Good: The Library of Congress Flickr Pilot Project Final Report (Washington, D. C.: The Library of Congress, 2009), available at

This report discusses the use of the photo-sharing site Flickr by the Library of Congress to engage with new users and to gain understanding of how Web 2.0 technologies can be used to enhance the public service offerings of cultural heritage institutions. It discusses the creation of the Flickr Commons and how users can contribute valuable information to the description of collections that institutional resources can not afford to do. It also highlights the fact that all users do not come to the websites that we create for our digital content. It also describes how users added value to the photographs through the use of tags and folksonomies.

RSS and Newsreaders

Armstrong, Kim. “Using RSS Feeds to Alert Users to Electronic Resources,” Serials Librarian 53 (3): 183-195.

This article describes how RSS technology is growing in popularity among libraries as a way to distribute, or syndicate, information about new electronic resources and Web content to users. It argues that RSS allows libraries to aggressively distribute information to patrons and helps them to maintain relevance in the Google age.

Yue, Paoshan, Araby Green, and Lisa S. Blackwell. “Do You See RSS in Your Future?” Serials Librarian 50 (3/4): 305-310.

This article discusses what RSS is and how it works before examining potential applications of RSS to libraries. It then talks about how the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries are utilizing RSS to share information about their journals.

Podcasts and Downloadable Multimedia

Lee, Deborah. “Ipod, You-pod, We-pod: Podcasting and Marketing Library Services,” Library Administration & Management 20 (4): 206-208.

This article discusses how libraries can use podcasts to target specific audiences with information about their collections, services and personnel. It highlights the importance of utilizing technology to reach our patron base.

Sampson, Jo Ann. “Launching into the Podcast/Vodcast Universe,” Computers in Libraries 26 (10): 10-15.

This article is written in the form of a captain’s log and discusses the implementation of podcasting and videocasting in the Orange County Library System. It highlights the importance of marketing your offerings and examines the effectiveness of podcasts/videocasts as outreach tools.

Tagging and Folksonomies

Chun, Susan, Rich Cherry, Doug Hiwiller, Jennifer Trant, and Bruce Wyman. “ An Ongoing Experiment in Social Tagging, Folksonomy, and Museums.” Museums and the Web 2006.

This article examines a project ( by a group of museums to discover if social tagging can make their online collections more accessible to the average user. They are also exploring how best to enable social tagging and describe the development of a tool to do so. The article discusses how social tagging allows a dialogue between the piece of art being described and the user. A similar dialogue could, and should, be encouraged between users and archival materials.

Clayton, Sarah, Sue Morris, Arun Venkatesh, and Helena Whitton. “User Tagging of Online Cultural Heritage Items.” National Library of Australia Staff Papers. 2008. (accessed July 22, 2009).

This report discusses how users are tagging online cultural heritage items in Australia. It highlights how user tagging can help librarians engage new communities and create a sense of ownership for the public. They encourage librarians to create a plan for utilizing social tagging and folksonomies and to create clear guidelines for how these tools will be utilized.


Frumkin, Jeremy. “The Wiki and the Digital Library,” OCLC Systems & Services: International Digital Library Perspectives 21 (1): 18-22.

Article examines how wikis can be used to enhance research and collaboration in a digital library setting. Talks about how reference librarians at Oregon State University are using a wiki to improve their reference service. Of particular note to archivists’ is the articles suggestion that wikis can be used as a tool to power interactive finding aids.

Rosenzweig, Roy (2006, June). “Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past.” Journal of American History 93, no. 1 (June 2006): 117-146.

This article examines the impact of Wikipedia on historical writing. The author argues that Wikipedia has created a successfully community for sharing information but that it is not necessarily good history. He also argues that the Wikipedia model could be used for digital projects involving historical documents. We should carefully consider how the Wikipedia model could be adapted to increase the ability of archivists to present their collections and information about those collections to the public.


Cho, Allan. “An introduction to mashups for health librarians.” Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association 28 (2007): 19-22.

This article talks about what mashups are and how they can be utilized by health science librarians to improve their services to their patrons. It discusses how mashups can add value to the discovery of information.

Pietroniro, Elise, and Darlene Fichter. “Map Mashups and the Rise of Amateur Cartographers and Mapmakers.” Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA) Bulletin No. 127 (2007): 26-30.

This short article takes about what map mashups are and how to create them it. It also highlights the value that map mashups add to information discovery.

Social Network Services

Ostrander, Margaret. “Talking, Looking, Flying, Searching: Information Seeking Behaviour in Second Life.” Library Hi Tech 26 (4): 512-524.

This article discusses how individuals look for information in a specific social networking site—Second Life. The author found that information seeking behavior in Second Life fits into five categories: social information seeking, use of visual and experiential mechanisms, serendipitous discovery, use of the Second Life search functionality, and play and humor. The author argues that virtual worlds will soon become an important part of the information seeking landscape. Librarians and archivists have an opportunity to share their collections in new and exciting ways.

Scale, Mark-Shane. “Facebook as a Social Search Engine and the Implications for Libraries in the Twenty-First Century.” Library Hi Tech 26 (4): 540-556.

This article examines the concept of social search and its role in social networking systems. It documents a simple experiment that utilizes Facebook as a search tool and underscores the problems currently inherent to social networking systems, like Facebook, as search tools. It argues that librarians should become more familiar with social networking sites and should seek to improve their utility as search tools. Archivists should also become familiar with social networking sites and examine ways to integrate our services into these sites.

Extended Bibliography

An extended bibliography of articles related to Web 2.0 in cultural heritage institutions, and particularly archives, is available online at

If you would like to participate in building the bibliography, please contact the editors at or