MARAC/NEA Spring 2015: Plenary Speaker – Sands Fish

By Camilla Torres Hoven
I first met Sands Fish at an MIT New Employee meetup three years ago. It was at the Muddy (an MIT graduate bar) and I remember being nervous going to such an event, being new to campus and the MIT world. I was met by a big smile and a general enthusiasm for the work archivists do that both surprised me and put me at ease. Here was someone who knew what an archivist was (no elevator speech—yes!) and was actually engaged in the work we do.
Sands’s enthusiasm for archival work remains apparent in his work with some of the most forward-thinking groups in research and media. He is a senior member of the Media Cloud research team, and although not an “archivist” his work and research centers around a large archive of online media. As a fellow at the Berkman Center and a Research Affiliate at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, Sands focuses on “data visualization, semantic web technologies, linked open data, information architecture, and their application to education and civic media.” As technology has revolutionized the way we create, share, and receive information, Sands is trying to bring some of that revolution to how we collect and manage these new torrents of information.
Sands’s Saturday plenary talk will discuss the work he does at the Berkman Center, explore the traditional concept of the archive and what it would look like in a networked world, and examine the definition of the archive outside of the profession and what that means to the archival profession itself. Let’s all meet him with a big smile, welcome him to the archival world, and engage with him in the work that he does!

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