Giulia Carla Rossi

Curator (Digital Collections) - The British Library

Playthroughs as Contextual Collecting for Emerging Formats

This talk will focus on contextual collecting as a strategy to aid the long-term preservation of emerging formats at the British Library. In particular, we will discuss the process of recording playthroughs at City Interaction Lab for three interactive adventures (two mobile apps and one VR experience), which will be showcased as part of the Digital Storytelling exhibition at the British Library (2 June – 15 October 2023).

Contextual collecting refers to the act of collecting information surrounding a publication, to ensure that future researchers will have access to material describing the context in which something was originally developed and published (especially if the publication itself is no longer accessible on its intended device). Within this context, playthrough videos constitute valuable documentation on the original ‘look and feel’ of an artefact, as well as provide instructions on use whenever a format has become obsolete.

In this presentation, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of preserving emerging formats and how both collecting and creating contextual information can contribute to enhancing the collection.

About the speaker:

Giulia Carla Rossi is Curator for Digital Publications at the British Library. Her work focuses on collecting and curating born-digital publications, including web-based interactive narratives and mobile apps. Her research interests include interactive storytelling, net art and creative computing. She has a background in digital publishing and previously worked in Editorial and Production roles at different academic and trade publishers. In 2023 she co-curated the British Library’s Digital Storytelling exhibition.