Collections as Data Personas

Collections as Data (CAD) Personas represent an initial set of high level role types associated with collections as data activity. While distinctions are fuzzy in the context of disciplinary and professional praxis, roles represented by personas can generally be understood in alignment with data stewardship or use. On the whole, personas aim to surface needs, motivations, and goals in context. These representations are derived from Collections as Data project engagements and project team experience.

In Agile software development, a persona is used to help develop a broadly shared orientation to user experience. Gary Geisler has written, “Personas offer a way to summarize findings from user research and help determine user requirements and priorities. These documents help project teams develop a common understanding of a project’s intended audience and priorities. They also serve as a useful reference for design decisions throughout the development process.”

The Agile notion of a persona need not be limited to supporting software or system design. After all, collections as data work depends upon institutional services and people who do not fit easily within that scope. Development of personas provides but another resource for expanding our understanding of CAD oriented work in contemporary cultural heritage settings.


Collections as Data Personas

The project team is particularily grateful to the following people for their input which informed the creation of these personas: Bob Gradeck, Cheryl Phillips, Denice Ross, Mary Souther, Rebecca Sutton Koeser, and all the participants of the Collections as Data workshop at DLF Forum 2017.

Call for Submissions

We welcome submission of additional personas derived from your context and community needs. Contributions from a range of sources are encouraged, e.g. libraries, museums, archives, research centers, academic departments, institutionally unaffiliated parties, and more.

Submissions should follow the persona template.

Submit personas to Hannah Frost -