Dissertation proposal [PDF]: Personal digital archives: Preservation of documents, preservation of self. Sarah Kim, defended and passed on December, 2010.
Personal archiving is a practice through which people manage and preserve documents that have
particular meanings to them for a long time. The pervasive use of digital technology in everyday
life changes the way that people interact with documents and thus have an influence on archiving
practices. Viewing personal archiving as a self-reflective practice that involves psychological
and social processes of reviewing, understanding, and presenting life and self, the proposed study aims to explore digital archiving of ordinary individuals in relation to the construction of self. It uses in-depth case studies to gain a holistic understanding of how people conduct and experience archiving in a digital environment as close to research participants‟ perspectives as possible. Findings of the proposed study will eventually contribute to development of a theory or a model of personal digital archiving, which can have implications for research on digital cultural heritage preservation and personal information management/archiving tools and services design.