Measuring our digital archives, part 2

Well, I’ve seen a few attempts at visualizing archival holdings in the past, but this one by Mitchell Whitelaw at the University of Canberra is somewhat similar to what I was discussing in my previous post:

Click on image to see the blogpost "Packing Them In"

This is working with a very LARGE dataset, which includes some 57k series from the National Archives of Australia [ see Mitchell Whitelaw’s post for more information: ].  The visualization, in this case, is highlighting the ratio between the size of a series (in linear meters) with the number of registered items that belong to that series (the emptier the square is, the smaller amount of registered items).

So, my idea is certainly not all that original (and I certainly didn’t think that it would be).  But, this find still encourages me to pursue my particular path, since the one thing unique about my idea is the usage of the length of the EAD itself to be used for comparitive purposes (though this may not prove ideal, I think it’s still worth checking into).  It would also be nice to see how this and other similar processes compare when used on the same collections…  but, before that can happen, the proper toolsets will need to be developed.


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