Friday, June 8, 2007

Questions on Access to Sensitive Text

Alice Armintor Walker responded offline to my post on sensitive tags, asking:
Do you think you might want to allow sensitive text access to some viewers, but not unregistered users? An archivist might feel better about limiting access to a specific group of people.
That's an interesting point, and thanks for the question!

My thought on that had been something like this: There are people the owner trusts with sensitive info, and people they don't. That first group are the scribes, who by definition can see everything. The second group is everybody else.

But is that too simple? Are there people the owners trust to view sensitive info, but not to transcribe the text? The answer may be yes. I just don't know enough about archival practice. In the real-world model, FromThePage-style transcription doesn't exist. So it's quite reasonable that transcribing would be a separate task, requiring more trust than allowing access to view sensitive material.

It'd be easy enough to allow the owner to grant permission to some viewers — just an extra tab in the work config screen, with a UI almost identical to the scribe-access list.

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