Archival Science

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 25–49

Visual analytics, cognition and archival arrangement and description: studying archivists’ cognitive tasks to leverage visual thinking for a sustainable archival future

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10502-013-9212-y

Cite this article as:
Lemieux, V.L. Arch Sci (2015) 15: 25. doi:10.1007/s10502-013-9212-y


This paper explores the possibility of using visual analysis to support archival functions. It first reviews the current state of experimentation with the use of interactive visual interfaces in the archival domain, noting several gaps including the absence of formal studies of cognitive and perceptual tasks. The paper then reports on preliminary results from a cognitive task analysis of archival arrangement and description, providing a broad brush description of archival analysis during arrangement and description as an example of archival sense-making. It then suggests some possible leverage points where visual analytics technology might be applied to support archival arrangement and description and concludes by reflecting on some theoretical and practical aspects of visualization technologies.


Arrangement and description Visual analytics Visualization Cognitive task analysis Protocol analysis Sense-making Human–computer interaction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, I.K. Barber Learning CentreUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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