Lucia Maria Velloso de Oliveira, Bianca Therezinha C. Panisset, José Antonio da Silva, Mediation in Archives: Organization, Classification and Transparency in:

International Society for Knowledge Organziation (ISKO), Marianne Lykke, Tanja Svarre, Mette Skov, Daniel Martínez-Ávila (Ed.)

Knowledge Organization at the Interface, page 512 - 516

Proceedings of the Sixteenth International ISKO Conference, 2020 Aalborg, Denmark

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-95650-775-5, ISBN online: 978-3-95650-776-2,

Series: Advances in Knowledge Organization, vol. 17

Bibliographic information
Lucia Maria Velloso de Oliveira – Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil Bianca Therezinha C. Panisset – Universidade Federal Fluminense and Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa, Brazil José Antonio da Silva – Universidade Federal Fluminense and Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa, Brazil Mediation in Archives Organization, Classification and Transparency Abstract: It discusses the role of mediation in archives and the use of technology in supporting the process. As a central issue we investigate how the organization of the archives is related to a set of functions that aim, in the final analysis, to grant the user access and, in the case of collections of historical value, to enable future generations to access the past. The general objective is to present research results that relate to three pillars of the process developed within the scope of the information units, with an emphasis on the archival context: organization, classification and transparency. As a method, we use the analysis of a site of historical value and a governmental adherence process for the implementation of digital administrative processes. Our result shows that these initiatives were only possible due to the role of mediation in archives as a pillar for the organization of knowledge. 1.0 Introduction This paper aims to present research results that relate to the three pillars of the process developed within the scope of information units, with an emphasis on archival context: organization, classification and transparency. Our premise is that technology is a tool to democratize access to documents and promote identity, memory and transparency. In this perspective, the work is developed in the area of records management and in the area of dissemination of collections relevant to the production of knowledge about a historical period. In both situations, the use of technology is essential to democratize access to records and to promote identity, memory and transparency. Firstly, the analysis focuses on the implementation and maintenance of a website designed to promote collections about slavery and abolition in Brazil, one of the countries that had the largest flow of slaves in the world. The site aims to attract new users of archives relating to these historical events and thus render the archives something more real and part of people's imagination and life. Secondly, the analysis is empirically based on the implementation of a project aimed at the registration and use of digital documents in public management. The project involves Brazilian federal agencies, since they were included in the broad plan for the implementation of electronic processes in the structure of public power that had as an objective the transparency of this management. 2.0 Organization, Classification and Transparency as approaches in highlighting the archival context There are two archival functions that strengthen access, and, of course, transparency and the right to memory. The organization of archives is related to a set of functions that aim, in the final analysis, to grant the user access to the acts of an organization and, in the case of collections of historical values, to enable future generations to access the past. In the field of archives, classification occupies a privileged place in both theory 513 and practice. It is through classification that the organic relationship of archival documents and their links is established and revealed. Organicity, according to Luciana Duranti, is at the heart of archival science: “At the core of archival science is the concept of archival bond, that is, the network of relationships that each record has with the records belonging in the same agregations” (Duranti 1997, 216). Organicity is understood as the connections existing between documents, established since their production and determined by the function exercised by each document in the context of representing an organic activity of an individual or an institution. We also use Yeo's understanding of archival representation. He states that: “...the concept of record representation means that records can be characterized as a persistent representation of activities that are created by participants or observers of those activities or by their authorized proxies” (Yeo 2007). For the author, records are ultimately “persistent representations of activities, created by participants or observers or their authorized proxies” (Yeo 2007). The research carried out assumes that the archival document is a unit of the Knowledge Organization (KO), as mentioned by Hjørland (2008, 96), but also a persistent representation, which reveals not only the activity and the reason why it was produced, but the context of its production: actors, institutions and archival context. This understanding of the concept of archival context is based on the formulation of Thomassen (2001), which recognizes determining factors beyond the context of production, such as the context of use and the socio-political, cultural and economic context. Thus, the classification of the archival document, in the traditional or digital environment, involves the physical and intellectual organization of the records, so that their relationship with their genesis is represented, functioning as a mechanism for the recovery of the organization of information and knowledge (KO), so that it can be used as a framework for defining record deletion.We are then starting from the understanding that in the process of organization and classification in the field of archives, we deal with knowledge about the producer: its functions, business processes, relations and the historical context in which it lived. In addition, this knowledge will guide the relationship with the users of information systems and will be used as a source for the promotion of government transparency, so that accordingly at any time the acts will be understandable to society. According to Pekka Henttonen (2015) in KO contextual classifications, concepts and relationships are linked to functions, activities and actors in the environment of the production and use of records. Archival records, as we know, despite being contextualized in their genesis according to their functions, can be classified according to their content, when the question is access, as it is the analysis of the content that will give the crucial elements for defining the degrees of confidentiality and consequently justifying access restrictions that impact on government transparency. As for transparency Meijer (2015) understands that “Many analyzes of government transparency focus on new and even future developments [...] These analyzes are useful to understand current issues, but generally fail to put them in perspective (historical)”. It is observed, therefore, that in the field of Archivology a better combination of actions aimed at promoting knowledge is necessary with regard to the context and the relationship between process and technology. To clarify: a process corresponds to a set of joint activities that aim to achieve an objective. Technology, in turn, consists of means and techniques to facilitate or streamline this process. In this sense, for the technological activity to be oriented in favor of the objectives of a process, instruments recognized in areas of knowledge are 514 used whose premises collaborate with the purpose of the technical-procedural relationship. An example of this possibility is in Document Management, which can be considered a macro process with several steps necessary to fulfill the archival functions, among them production control, classification, organization and destination of documents. We analyzed two technological environments applied to archives that, in our understanding, allow and enhance the process of transparency, recovery and informational access: the Slavery, Abolition and Post-abolition website and the implementation of the national electronic process. In both cases the information or digital copies of documents were classified and organized in their origin, and this was repeated in the digital environment. 3.0 The diffusion of historical collections and the management of records The Slavery, Abolition and Post-abolition memory website1 is a virtual environment that brings together digital objects and a space for interaction with its users about the themes surrounding slavery, the process of abolition of the enslaved and the period after abolition. This environment presents society with a variety of materials on its theme: digitized documents, images, controlled vocabulary, links to related websites, documentary exhibits and four types of games aimed at young audiences. The Brazilian public institution responsible for maintaining the site is the Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa (FCRB), which offers a space reserved for intellectual work, consultation of books and documents, and the preservation of national memory. The website was inaugurated in November 2015, with the objective of providing the dissemination of historical collections, attracting new users to the archive, enhancing access to custodial documents relating to this the subject, bringing society closer to this archival collection through applications, games and document samples and to promote the process of identification and construction of memory triggers (Oliveira, 2014). The project involved: “Translation into Portuguese of The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database from Voyage portal […]; exhibition catalogs; educational module (texts and games); elaboration of a controlled vocabulary about Afro-descendant memory; and providing a link library” (Oliveira 2014). The table below presents the data on the systematization of user service and the accesses transmitted through the use of the website that occurred between the years 2016 and 2019, where we obtained definitive numbers. It should be noted that the dissemination of the project took place in academic-scientific events, online on the Foundation's website and in person when the Archive Service received specialized technical visits from professionals and students. Table 1 . Systemization of site use from 2016 to 20192 Number of users 14.413 users Number of initiated sessions 18.770 sessions Digital bookshelf 7.762 accesses Exhibitions 3.287 accesses Controlled vocabulary 1.750 accesses Related sites 1.450 accesses Educational module 5.408 accesses 1 2 Source: Google Analytics. Nnumber of initiated sessions refers to the interaction over a period of time. 515 In this project, the necessary alignment between process and technology is observed because, for the site to exist with the mentioned content, it was necessary to plan beforehand involving, in the first instance, an adequate classification and organization of the documents whose praxis had occurred within the scope of the Historical and Institutional Archive of the Casa de Rui Barbosa Foundation. The area of games that aims to create young people's interest in their history and in the documents that translate their history is one of the most visited and has been successfully tested with young people from public schools, and presented at the BIG Festival, which is a festival of independent games from Latin America. In the same way, we can verify another action of conjugation between technology and process in the scope of the management of electronic processes. Brazil has adopted a government project entitled National Electronic Process (PEN) “a joint initiative of agencies and entities from different spheres of public administration to build a public infrastructure for the electronic administrative process” 3. For the scope of Brazilian state institutions, it was decided to adopt the “Electronic Information System” - SEI, which allows the creation and processing of administrative processes through digital means. The implantation of SEI at Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa took place under the leadership of an archivist and followed the parameters of the institutional Document Management Program, something that was not repeated in other public institutions, whose process of adhesion and implementation of the program was led by the Information Technology area (Panisset and Jaccoud 2019). The system allows, in the assessment of the administrative process, the application of archival classification, although it does not have any archival control module for document management, which is performed outside the software. As advantages, we point out two aspects mentioned by the Brazilian government: “increasede publicity of the processes, making it easier for them to be followed by civil servants and administrators, and their internal control and by society; and expansion of knowledge management and the possibility of improving processes, due to the creation of a single platform that allows the analysis of process flows, their comparison between different bodies and improvement based on successful experiences” 4. This system could not be adopted without the necessary prior measures, including a review of the procedures for organizing and documenting classification, adapting, in the computerized context, to the successful practices within the scope of the analog process already implemented by the archive area. These measures, in turn, collaborate on the access to information and, consequently, for the transparency of public administration acts, as indicated by the above mentioned advantages. In this context, there is an expansion of access and, concomitantly, the importance of the correct management of archival documents is signaled as a necessary process for the new technological imperative, collaborating in the promotion of knowledge in the historical perspective (identity and memory) and in the political-administrative perspective (access to information and transparency of public information). In the area of archives, there is this same contribution, because the management of documents culminates in the 3 4 516 decision on whether or not documents remain for a fixed time or for life. These documents whose timeless permanence is generally necessary represent milestones for the identity of a people and the memory of a nation. 4.0 Final considerations This discussion considered the use of technology as a mediating element in the information access and transparency process. We presented two projects developed by a Brazilian public institution where technology has resulted from the premise that technology is a tool to democratize access to documents and promote identity, memory and transparency. It is the organizational activity that encompasses all the actions necessary to guarantee access, which will either promote the forgetfulness or the visibility of the records. The application of a technological solution for the production, retrieval and dissemination of information dispenses with the mediating action in the collection, aimed at classification, organization and transparency. The analyzed applications (SEI and thematic site) were preceded by the process of elaborating the archival arrangement and description in the case of the Slavery, Abolition and Post abolition memory site and also the previous implementation of a document management program, in the case of the application of software for the prediction and processing of administrative processes. These actions, which are not limited to this sample scope, aim to meet the different uses of the document: evidence, identity, memory, access and transparency. Therefore, we observed that the use of the document and the interest in the information contained therein is broad and can be applied in different approaches, but that mediation is necessary for the better use of the organization of knowledge. References Duranti, Luciana. 1997. “The Archival Bond.” Archives and Museum Informatics 11, nos. 3/4: 213-218. Hentonnen, Pekka. 2015. “Dimensions of Contextual Records Management Classifications.” Knowledge Organization 42: 477-85. Hjørland, Birger. 2008. “What Is Knowledge Organization (KO)?.” Knowledge Organization 35: 86-101. Meijer, Albert. 2015. “Government Transparency in Historical Perspective: From the Ancient Regime to Open Data in the Netherlands.” International Journal of Public Administration 38, no. 3: 189-99. Oliveira, Lucia Maria Velloso de Oliveira. 2014. Processo de Contratação de Serviços da Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio De Janeiro, para Desenvolvimento e Implantação de Sítio Multilígue a Ser Intitulado: Escravidão e Pós Abolição: Memória e Acervos. Processo Administrativo Nº 01550.000291/2014-86. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa. Panisset, Bianca Therezinha Carvalho and Leandro de Abreu Souza Jaccoud. 2019. “Os Desafios e as Limitações Enfrentados pelos Arquivistas da Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa para a Implantação do Processo Administrativo Eletrônico.” In Tratamento de Arquivos de Ciência e Tecnologia: Organização e Acesso, edited by Lúcia Maria Velloso de Oliveira and Maria Celina Soares de Mello e Silva. Rio de Janeiro: Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins, 100-110. Thomassen, Theo. 2001. “A First Introduction to Archival Science.” Archival Science 1, no. 4: 373-385. Yeo, Geoffrey. 2017. “Concepts of Record (1): Evidence, Information, and Persistent Representations.” The American Archivist 70, no. 2: 315-343.

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The proceedings explore knowledge organization systems and their role in knowledge organization, knowledge sharing, and information searching.

The papers cover a wide range of topics related to knowledge transfer, representation, concepts and conceptualization, social tagging, domain analysis, music classification, fiction genres, museum organization. The papers discuss theoretical issues related to knowledge organization and the design, development and implementation of knowledge organizing systems as well as practical considerations and solutions in the application of knowledge organization theory. Covered is a range of knowledge organization systems from classification systems, thesauri, metadata schemas to ontologies and taxonomies.


Der Tagungsband untersucht Wissensorganisationssysteme und ihre Rolle bei der Wissensorganisation, dem Wissensaustausch und der Informationssuche. Die Beiträge decken ein breites Spektrum von Themen ab, die mit Wissenstransfer, Repräsentation, Konzeptualisierung, Social Tagging, Domänenanalyse, Musikklassifizierung, Fiktionsgenres und Museumsorganisation zu tun haben. In den Beiträgen werden theoretische Fragen der Wissensorganisation und des Designs, der Entwicklung und Implementierung von Systemen zur Wissensorganisation sowie praktische Überlegungen und Lösungen bei der Anwendung der Theorie der Wissensorganisation diskutiert. Es wird eine Reihe von Wissensorganisationssystemen behandelt, von Klassifikationssystemen, Thesauri, Metadatenschemata bis hin zu Ontologien und Taxonomien.