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Annotation as Process: A Vital Information Seeking Activity in Historical Geographic Research

Mary B. Ruvane

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


Abstract

This paper describes the role annotations played in evolving and growing the value of a research database in the framework of an historical geographer’s information seeking process. The database was designed as a ‘note-taking’ tool for gathering historical evidence from primary source documents. The individual facts collected at first provided little utility to the researcher, indicative of Buckland’s ‘information-as-thing.’ As the process of collecting facts began to amass a large body of material the geographer’s originally presumed information needs expanded as new connections were made between the accumulating annotations.

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