From Seamus Ross's keynote [PDF] at ECDL:

I might humbly suggest that digital libraries must adopt a theoretical stance. As I noted above, library science is devoid of theoretical foundations and of a knowledge-base that is relevant to the budding digital world. Archival science with its principles of uniqueness, provenance, arrangement and description, authenticity, appraisal, and its tool sets such as diplomatics, may offer us a framework for a theoretical foundation for digital libraries. [Digital preservation, archival science and methodological foundations for digital libraries. ECDL 2007 [PDF]]

Comments: 1

Oct 15, 2007
Robin Rice, University of Edinburgh

Hi Lorcan,

I see you found this quote provocative, as I did, when I heard Professor Ross' keynote at ECDL. In particular, "...Library science is devoid of theoretical foundations and of a knowledge-base that is relevant to the budding digital world". Is this not rubbish?!

To be fair, the context in which he said it was about preservation and digital libraries, not everything digital, though he makes it sound as as if it is. (And I enjoyed the rest of his talk.) I asked an archivist during lunch what she thought of that sentiment, and she thought that libraries were in a better position to adapt to the digital world than archives. In my two years of studying library science I certainly encountered relevant theory, starting with Ranganathan's rules! Do you have an opinion about this?