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Title: Beyond Academia: Designing Archives Outreach for Non-traditional Users
Authors: Williams, David J.
Keywords: Information Design;Archival Finding Aids;User Experience
Issue Date: 27-Apr-2023
Abstract: The University of Pittsburgh Library System has a robust outreach focus and frequently brings our Archives and Special Collections materials out to the broader Pittsburgh community. The August Wilson Archive was acquired in 2020 and due to the strong cultural and sociological relevance in its home city of Pittsburgh and a generous grant, we are launching extensive community engagement efforts. August Wilson, one of American's greatest playwrights, celebrated the lives and culture of African Americans in the 20th century through his ten plays titled the American Century Cycle. The Wilson Archive consists of over 450 boxes of materials, which illustrated how his plays evolved from handwritten drafts of dialogue and notes through the final promptbooks that were used in the Broadway productions. There are also over 700 writing tablets and legal pads where Wilson first jotted down his ideas for the American Century Cycle plays alongside his everyday notes on his daily meetings, phone calls, and drafts of correspondence. Through data visualization and descriptive diagrams, our team will provide other access points that allow users to explore the collection in visual and engaging ways. A discussion of Information Design principles and practices, incorporating research in graphic design, typography, visualization, and usability, will illustrate how archives can improve engagement at every point of service, effectively complementing the institutional mission while enhancing individual user experience.
Description: A Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Spring 2023 Conference presentation.
Appears in Collections:Librarian Presentations and Articles

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