RETRONEWS: Guiding and Enabling Discovery for All Audiences

Posted: 12-07-2018

LIBER sponsor RetroNews recently published an article on the LIBER blog, explaining how RetroNews was created and what it offers to researchers.

Now, in the second part of this article, RetroNews explains how they use editorial content to highlight the collections found within the RetroNews collections.

While the digitisation, selection, research and development workstreams are essential stages in preserving and making available this heritage, the use of the content, in particular where non-expert audiences are concerned, requires editorialisation and outreach.

To broaden the user audience and elevate this heritage to its due place, a site offering content-viewing services for experts only would not have been enough – both a tool and a media site were needed.

Journalists, researchers, academics and historians now contribute, in a spirit of media production, to convey both the content and the historical context of these archival press holdings. The stylistic exercise lies in writing from archives and varying the editorial formats.

The formats adopted, whether “echoes” of the everyday, “chronicles” or “retrospective cycles”, combined with the variety of the contributors make it possible to experience these archives at their most singular, and to better understand, through these testaments, the opinions and debates of an era. It is also the common thread of a dialogue, of corresponding and diverging points of view and ideas that echo over the centuries.

Setting these articles in their political, media-related and societal contexts thus casts the spotlight on how the press depicted specific sequences in history and helps sustain the critical perspective of every reader on contemporary information production.

To grasp, through a press account, the days of February 1848 when Paris was in revolt, to rediscover, nestled at the bottom of the page, the serial novels of an Eugene Sue or a Conan Doyle, to follow international news such as the reader of the day did… Here are some of the experiences offered to you by the editors of RetroNews through selected narratives from the everyday.

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