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Agnieszka Backman: "Reframing and Truthfulness in the Digital Repository"

November 16, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Online via Zoom

About this talk: Manuscripts and other cultural heritage materials have always been depicted in different ways to increase access and for analysis. The digital repository is one of a long line of representational frameworks, including printed woodcuts, painted facsimiles, black and white photographs and analog color images. Every format has its own strategies for truthfulness of representation and for signaling interpretive norms. This talk stems from work undertaken on the Medieval Fragments Study Collection at Stanford University Libraries. It follows the framing of the collection from physical folders holding the fragments, to finding aids, to the online catalog, analyzing how these remodalizations emphasize different aspects of the discourse of the archive with the help of concepts from social semiotics.

About the speaker: Agnieszka Backman received her PhD in Scandinavian Languages from Uppsala University in 2017 with a dissertation entitled The Materiality of the Manuscript: Studies in Codex Holmiensis D 3, the Old Swedish Multitext Manuscript "Fru Elins bok". From 2017 to 2019 she worked on the Norse Perception of the World project, helping develop a digital platform for onomastics research in medieval Swedish and Danish vernacular texts. She was a Wallenberg Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University from 2019 to 2021 and is now continuing her work on the same project, "Materialities of Medieval Manuscripts in Digital Repositories", at Uppsala University, using social semiotics to investigate the affordances of digitized manuscripts.

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