Authors and colleagues Thaddeus C. Guldbrandsen and Catherine Amidon writing on the possibilities of participatory anthropology made possible by public, web-accessible archives. The basis of their work is an archive of historical photos—the Brown Paper Collection—presented on the web using Scriblio (formerly WPopac), the library software I developed.
This discussion examines these concerns within the context of one online experiment: Beyond Brown Paper is an interactive photo exhibition that raises a number of conceptual and methodological questions related to the practice of anthropology in the the Internet age. Beyond Brown Paper suggests the that the use of information technology in anthropology further blurs the distinctions between the observer and the observed.
Scriblio, a new software “mashup” that combines data and computer functions from external sources was developed at PSU by Casey Bisson. In this case the mashup combines blog technology and library software to enable multifaceted communication on library web pages and integration with the rest of the web. This software, combined with improved digital photography scanning technology, made it technically feasible to provide large-scale public access to the Brown Company photos.