Construction of Digital Memory: New Space and New Model of Archival Education in China

Tianjiao Qi


Since the spring of 2016, there has been a new educational model for archival science in China. Students majoring in archival science form groups, which have a clear division of responsibilities, to construct social memory in digital form, with the guidance of the professors. Student groups would like to choose some special communities, cultural heritage or social phenomenon as the theme of the memory. For example, graduate students in Renmin University have completed the construction of digital memory in groups for Migrant workers in Beijing, Confucian temple, Beijing diet and so on. These student groups often consist of one leader responsible for the project management, one resource manager responsible for the digital archives management, one researcher responsible for the investigation and interviews and one technical director responsible for the web design and multimedia operation. In order to construct the digital memory, students have to carry out the field survey and interview. In the process, they participate in the creation, digitalization, management, storage, research, editing and presentation of archives, and conduct the innovation in each aspect with their imagination and creativity. On the one hand, the learning space extends beyond the school. Students can touch the real archives directly instead of understanding archives from the description of books. Visiting various memory space and interviewing with storytellers make it easier for students to understand their major and future career. On the other hand, the Internet becomes new space for students to show and share their learning outcomes, which sometimes even influence government decisions. With good computer knowledge, students are able to show diversified digital archival resource. During the construction of digital memory, professors provide advice and guidance for the theme selection, research methods and experience, technical implementation and etc. Participation is the first principle of this new educational model for archival science. The enthusiasm of students is aroused and the theoretical knowledge can be combined with the practice. All the digital memory projects are shown on the Internet, with distinct themes, rich content and innovative forms, which can be shared with the public. In the new digital space, the new education model has a significant effect on archival science and social memory.


Tianjiao Qi, PhD. Students majoring in archival science of the school of Information Resource Management in Renmin University of China. She is in her doctoral beginning stage now and her research interest focuses on the digital archives and community memory. She is researching on digital archival resource management, development and presentation, based on the research about the rural memory of ancient villages in China. She is the student assistant of Chinese team for InterPARES. She co-executed the first International Digital Memory Forum in 2015. She has participated in many academic research projects, including one supported by ICA PCOM, two supported by National Social Science Foundation of China and several supported by Chinese national or reginal archives administration. She has co-authored two books and published several papers in the core journals in China.