Crossing the River: Issues, Concepts and Challenges of Digitization


The first section of the course looks at digitization as a communicative act – aiming to comparatively inspect it as part of an ongoing human commitment and effort to share information. We will introduce the history of earlier communication and information technologies, analyze those from a functional perspective and move onwards to ‘digitization’ as the current leading technology serving the same ‘older’ communicative functions.

The second section of the course will deal with digitization as a practice. As many cultural repositories digitize their collections in order to offer the benefits of digital access, this section aims to provide students with practical tools about the process and the institutional decision making environment involved. This section will include six classes.

The third section looks at the ‘post-digitized’ document and focuses on the relationship of digitization to collections, libraries, collective memory practices and other circles of social activity in which the characteristics of a digitized document might alter the role and capabilities it had in its printed form.