Lightning Talk Digital Humanities Australasia 2018

Adding structural value to cultural value: a case study of a APO's new Cultural Policy & Creative Industries Collection (79)

Penelope Aitken 1 , Susan Luckman 2
  1. Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO), Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  2. School of Creative Industries, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Creative industries add both economic and cultural value to society by generating knowledge, information and artefacts through creative practice and production. In March 2018, Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO), with the support of the Division of Education Arts and Social Sciences at the University of South Australia, launched the Cultural Policy & Creative Industries Collection of resources spanning 40 plus years of research in the Australian cultural sector. The collection focuses on work by and about galleries, libraries, archives, museums, publishers, film and performing arts organisations and both Australian and international government arts funding and advisory bodies. Additionally the collection includes research into the broader creative economy including digital media, broadcasting, fashion, radio, journalism, games and issues of inclusion and exclusion from these realms. At a time of sectoral funding challenge and in the absence of a national cultural policy, the collection plays an important role in seeking to aggregate the wide range of policy and research documents that have and do inform the CCI sector in Australia and beyond.

Building upon the infrastructure and expertise already developed by APO, and driven by UniSA Professor Susan Luckman and APO Editor Penelope Aitken, the collection is an open access repository of digital texts in a large range of formats, from formal policy documents, submissions, discussion papers as well as journal articles, theses, and critiques and historical overviews of policy. These disparate forms of content are linked by standard cataloguing metadata including subjects, keywords, geographic coverage terms, authors and organisations.  In its current form the collection is a useful resource for cultural researchers and advisors and contains helpful tools for browsing and bookmarking.  However it could be so much more.  

APO and UniSA are partnered on a concurrent ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities project called Linked Semantic Platforms for Policy and Practice (LSP). This two-year enterprise aims to revolutionise the way researchers are able to access, and analyse policy documents and data and the possibilities around this are a key part of what we wish to explore in this presentation. During 2018 and 2019 the CPCI Collection will benefit from new digital tools such as text mining to deepen the catalogue connections and to graphically represent trends in cultural policy terms and concepts. We hope to add crowd-sourcing tools to help authors and researchers add content as well as to relate new content to historic documents which we will digitise as fully machine readable artefacts. In this presentation we will discuss the collection’s content (and gaps) and how we are seeking to work with interested partners and readers to source and join up new and old content. We will explain tools that have been implemented, how these have enhanced the collection, as well as new tools planned for the future. The Cultural Policy & Creative Industries Collection is one of many within APO and we will also discuss how the content from this area benefits from the metadata and other web development innovations across the whole site.