Virtual users of the digital archives have the same profiles as the users that can be found in the reading rooms: Mostly archivists or information professionals, as well as some history enthusiasts, scientific researchers and University students.
There is thus a clear a need to work with new profiles and promote the use of the archives, especially now that there is a large group of them available online, to new target groups.
In the framework of our project, the aim is to work with and reach 2 key audiences: The Youth/ “Generation Y” (teenagers) and the “Silver Generation” (active retired people, from 60 years old onwards):
Target group “Silver Generation”
There seems to be a great need to increase the number of members of the so called “Silver Economy” profiles (from age 60 onwards) as active users of archives.
To learn more about the nature of silver researchers in archives, our project issued an online survey, reaching 889 potential users throughout 2019 to identify pan-European fields of interest and acquire more knowledge about the needs of this specific user community (60+).
The main goal of the survey was to contribute to a greater diversification of the users of European archives, through the identification and implementation of new audiences’ development strategies and activities.
Among the main conclusions of the survey were the following facts:
Senior users are eminently male (69%), exceeding more than double the percentage of female users (30%)
60% of silver users have a tertiary level (university) education
41% visit the archives to conduct family history/genealogical research
Overall the satisfaction with archival infrastructures and services is very high among silver users, especially in relation to staff, digitalization and collections
A high percentage of the respondents are willing to participate as volunteers in projects of local history, scanning, indexing or transcribing.
See here the REPORT of the Survey with the results, case studies, draft conclusions and recommendations towards the implementation of a crowdsourcing activity in 2020-2021.
Currently we invited archives to submit their ideas and activities in connection with Silver Users – engaging them as voluntary workers or cooperation on micro-tasks such as referencing, transcribing, etc. These Case Studies will help us to evaluate and define good practises for the engagement with new target audiences in European Archives.
Find the short questionnaire here.
The Archive partners will carry out a pilot demonstrative activity and use crowdsourcing techniques in order to attract retired people and convert them into “active users”.
For such purpose, the partners will promote the involvement of this target group to perform some micro-tasks, including the contribution to new digital contents. Participation of 900 retired people (60yrs +) at workshops, and motivation and follow-up of some 120 new hobbyists are expected throughout 2020 and 2021.