Snowden Becker will open Digital Preservation 2018 with a talk entitled “To See Ourselves as Others See Us: On Archives, Visibility, and Value.” Why is the word “archive” now appearing on everything from shoes and shirts to soap and smartphone apps, even as archivists and preservationists struggle to convey the value and urgency of their work in a digital age? Has the cultural currency of “the archive” brought with it greater understanding of, or appreciation for, the labor necessary to create and maintain accessible collections? More than a century’s worth of evolving technologies and record-making practices, both personal and institutional, inform a critical examination of how we see ourselves, how others see us, and what that means for digital stewardship work in the years ahead.
Becker manages the graduate degree program in audiovisual archiving and preservation in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, where she also teaches courses in preservation and archival administration. She previously worked at Academy Film Archive, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Japanese American National Museum. Becker is pursuing a PhD in Information Science at University of Texas at Austin. She has an MLIS from UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and a BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art.
Snowden Becker’s research interests focus on how audiovisual materials are integrated into, accessed, and preserved as part of our larger cultural heritage. Her forthcoming dissertation, Keeping the Pieces: Evidence management and archival practice in law enforcement, addresses the property room as a type of archive, and examines how audiovisual recordings and file-based media are managed alongside material evidence in law enforcement organizations. That work has led into additional research projects related to the creation, management, and preservation of audiovisual evidence, including an IMLS-funded National Forum on data management needs arising from large-scale video recording programs such as police body-worn cameras.