To have and to hold: Exploring the personal archive

Joseph Kaye, Janet Vertesi, Shari Avery, Allan Dafoe, Shay David, Lisa Onaga, Ivan Rosero, Trevor Pinch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

130 Scopus citations


The personal archive is not only about efficient storage and retrieval of information. This paper describes a study of forty-eight academics and the techniques and tools they use to manage their digital and material archiving of papers, emails, documents, internet bookmarks, correspondence, and other artifacts. We present two sets of results: we first discuss rationales behind subjects' archiving, which go beyond information retrieval to include creating a legacy, sharing resources, confronting fears and anxieties, and identity construction. We then show how these rationales were mapped into our subjects' physical, social and electronic spaces, and discuss implications for development of digital tools that allow for personal archiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2006
Subtitle of host publicationConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings SIGCHI
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventCHI 2006: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Apr 22 2006Apr 27 2006

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


OtherCHI 2006: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
CityMontreal, QC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Archiving
  • Bookmarks
  • Email
  • Ethnography
  • Filing
  • Identity


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