Publishing Your Research Archive Online
Historian Rebe Taylor collaborated with the University of Melbourne’s eScholarship Research Centre to develop an award-winning annotated history and finding guide about the collections and papers of Ernest Westlake (1855-1922).
The guide was based on Taylor’s PhD research, and the accessibility of this research assisted Taylor when it came to turning her PhD thesis into her book Into the Heart of Tasmania. Taylor has said this about the experience:
Having my ‘chief archive’ online is humbling, but it has also been liberating. It has allowed me to write more imaginatively, knowing that readers can substantiate my text; that I didn’t ‘make it all up’!
The publication of the finding guide by the eScholarship Research Centre raises the profile of Taylor’s research and facilitates ongoing research into Westlake’s activities and engagement with Indigenous Australians in Tasmania.
Whilst it is now relatively easy for academics to create personal websites about their research, varying degrees of maintenance is required in order to ensure that the websites remain up-to-date and accessible.
In contrast, Taylor’s collaboration with the eScholarship Research Centre resulted in the creation of an award-winning finding guide that was developed on archival standards and will therefore remain accessible long-term with little maintenance.