Center for Information as Evidence

UCLA Department of Information Studies

Recent Projects





Building the Future of Archival Education and Research


This project is a collaborative effort of eight colleges and universities to promote the development of educators and researchers in Archival Studies who are versed in contemporary issues and research methodologies. We are actively engaged in promoting mentoring, instructional and research relationships and dialogue with other doctoral students and faculty.


Doctoral Fellowships in Archival Studies are currently available through a new eight-campus initiative for individuals who are interested in pursuing careers as educators and scholars in the field of Archival Studies and who would be entering doctoral programs in Fall 2009. Supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Archival Education and Research Fellowships are aimed at strengthening doctoral-level education in Archival Studies, building the cohort of archival educators and increasing its diversity, and promoting a broad base of rigorous archival scholarship.


In addition to the Fellowship, a series of week-long Archival Education and Research Institutes (AERI), planned for 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, will bring together doctoral students and faculty from across the United States and worldwide. Limited scholarship funding will also be avilable for U.S. doctoral students wishing to attend the institutes. The four AERI, to be held at three universities throughout the United States, are envisioned as strengthening education and research as well as supporting the development of cohorts and mentorship networks. The institutes are open to all faculty and archival doctoral students.


The fellowships and institutes comprise the two major portions of this project. Bringing together this range of strengths in archival education will demonstrate the breadth of modern archival research and practice, and will create cross-fertilizations that can only enhance Archival Science's overall position as an important player in the information fields. We seek participation from and interaction with faculty and students across the United States and worldwide.


Pac Rim Logo


Pluralizing the Archival Paradigm: A Needs Assessment for Archival Education in Pacific Rim Communities, 2005-Present

Principle Funder: University of California Pacific Rim Research Project


This project comprises a series of planning research and development activities to promote 1) the development of culturally and politically sensitive education of qualified archival professionals in Pacific Rim communities, especially those which have no local archival education infrastructure; and 2) incorporation of the interests, needs and cultural beliefs and practices of diverse communities into existing, predominantly Eurocentric educational programs in the Pacific Rim area. The project is a collaboration between UCLA, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Renmin University of China. Its key objectives are: 1) to identify key educational needs for specific regions in the Pacific Rim; 2) to identify what might be optimal delivery mechanisms for archival education in different communities and settings; and 3) to develop a set of recommendations for existing programs to ensure that they better address the diverse needs of a student base that may be drawn from across the Pacific Rim, as well as local indigenous and ethnic communities?


InterPARES 1 & 2


Principle Funders: The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC); and The National Sciences Foundation.


InterPARES 2 2002 - 2007 is a multidisciplinary, international project that builds on the InterPARES 1 project (both available at which concluded in January 2002. InterPARES 2 aims to develop a theoretical understanding of the records generated by interactive, dynamic, and experiential systems, of their process of creation, and of their present and potential use in the scientific, government, and artistic sectors. See also the US-InterPARES website at



Enabling the preservation and cultural diffusion of videogames

Principle Funders: UCLA Academic Senate, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Information Society Program


Cultural industries are today massively turning to digital media as the primary medium for the production and distribution of their products, either through digitization of cultural artifacts, creation of new forms of cultural expressions (e.g., videogames), or reliance on digital tools in the creation process itself (film production). Yet, there are today no known solutions to the problem of preserving over time complex digital objects. The loss to our cultural heritage already promises to be significant, and will become worse if nothing is done.

Our approach to the problem of preserving digital objects is founded on a theory that envisions the archival process as composed of two fundamental elements: on the one hand, the transmission of the physical object proper (whether a paper document, archeological artifact, or digital object); on the other hand, the transmission of theinterpretive tradition associated with the object. That is, the long-term preservation of any cultural work involves, in effect, the development and transmission of an associated interpretive tradition, against the progressive decontextualization of the work affected by the passage of time. As no object is ever self-intelligible, preservation implies that the object be repeatedly “read”, that is made accessible to collective memory through the interpretive tradition associated with that object. In the same way that philological work makes it possible for 21st century American students to read and discuss the writings of Plato, the continuous performance (reading) of any cultural work is made possible by the dynamic exchange between the technical choices inherent in any preservation method and the interpretative tradition that makes that work intelligible.


Through prior funding from the CNRS, we have developed a preservation tool for France’s IRCAM for electronic music performances. We are looking to extend our tool to the preservation of other digital objects, beginning with videogames, a culturally rich digital object and thus, legitimate object of cultural preservation. Videogames have no associated tradition of abstraction, that is, the best that can be done is to (a) keep the original machine and original software or (b) keep the software and emulate the machine). UCLA Academic Senate fuding has been obtained in order to perform the necessary groundwork for drafting a larger application for the UC Discovery research funding program, which will involve researchers from UCLA, France’s Institut National d’Audiovisuel, and industry.


Archiving Contemporary Practices in Japanese High Energy Physics

  • Project personnel: Sharon Traweek, Department of History, UCLA (PI), Anne Gilliland-Swetland, Department of Information Studies, UCLA. Funded by the National Science Foundation, 2005-2007

High energy physics (HEP), plasma physics, and astrophysics have been characterized for many decades as “big sciences”. The emergence of big science in Europe and North America has been studied extensively, often by investigating archived documents at HEP laboratories. More recently, fields outside the physical sciences have begun to invoke the label of “big science” especially some of the cognitive sciences and the genome research projects in the biological sciences. Historical archives for all these fields are emerging worldwide and it will be important to conduct research about “big science” across these fields globally. The goal of this project is to collect oral histories from crucial global cohorts of physicists and preserve and make them available within a digital archive developed at KEK (Japan's National High Energy Accelerator Organization) and UCLA. Collecting oral histories of cohorts who have worked together on specific projects or who have been members of an active network of colleagues will provide a significant contribution to our understanding of how such global cohorts and networks have participated in the development of this distributed, but cohesive international community of scientists. In particular a group of scientists from the US, including UCLA, have been actively engaged with Japanese colleagues in the organization of multiple projects for three decades, including the design and conduct of experiments at KEK.

MOAC logo


Museums and the Online Archive of California II User Evaluation (MOAC II) 2004-2006


Principle Funder: Institute of Museum and Library Services


The Museums and the Online Archive of California II User Evaluation (MOAC II) was a two-year project examining digital museum content for use in education and research. MOAC II is an advancement of MOAC (1998-present), a major collaboration involving integration of collection descriptions and images using community-based standards. MOAC is the museum component of the Online Archive of California (OAC).




Funded by CNRS, MUSTICA, is an international collaboration of information scientists, musicologists and archivists was established to research issues of digital music preservation. MUSTICA involves researchers at two French organizations, the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), a research center within the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA), and the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), the University of British Columbia, and the University of California, Los Angeles. MUSTICA is supported by the French Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) through its "Archivage et Patrimoine Documentaire" funding initiative.


Clever Logo


Principle Funder: The Australian Research Council


The Clever Recordkeeping Metadata project, run by the Records Continuum Research Group at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, 2004-2006 addressed issues in the implementation of recordkeeping metadata standards: "tools for automatic metadata creation are inadequate, and current systems environments generally do not support the sharing of metadata between business systems for multiple purposes."

The projects developed "a proof of concept prototype to demonstrate how standards-compliant metadata can be created once in particular application environments, then used many times to meet a range of business purposes. The prototype will be implemented in a test-bed site to provide a model for best practice."


ITPC logo

The Information Technology and Policy Curricula, 2003-2005


Principle Funder: The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).


Based upon Electronic Records Management and Preservation (IT&PC) project addressed the need to broaden the base and increase the level of archival expertise in the area of electronic records, as well as the need to increase the basic knowledge of archivists and related professionals about the challenges and opportunities that information technology poses and the initiatives currently attempting to address them.




upcoming events

Join us at our new Community Forum! We have created a Google Group for the purpose of bringing scholars and the public together to discuss issues relevant to the Center's interests in information analysis, management, and discovery. Participate in our monthly discussions, contribute to our working multidisciplinary bibliography, and form working relationships with scholars and the community. Membership is free and open to the public. Click here to visit the Forum's homepage and learn more.