Rights Management Cooking Class: An SSI Reflection

Rights Management Cooking Class

By Paige Hohmann

The last SpokenWeb Sound Institute I attended was in 2019, when I was a brand-new collaborator. At that time I summed it as “energizing, timely, and inspiring.” That hasn’t changed.

What is different in 2022, this time at Concordia University in Montreal, is that I’ve joined Jason Camlot, Michael O’Driscoll, Annie Murray, and Karis Shearer as a contributor to the rights management endeavour within the project.

Rights management, like cooking, is an art and a science. From an archival perspective, administrative and procedural tools scaffold rights management throughout every archival function, from repository establishment, to appraisal and acquisition, to preservation, and beyond, to access, use, and re-use. The concept of archives-as-place (Duranti) stands in as the metaphorical kitchen where the cooking takes place. This only goes part way, especially with reference to the complexities that live at the interface of the archive-researcher connection, but it helped me understand what I can offer to scholars, particularly of archival literary audio.

Core principles like provenance (the record’s relationship to the context of its creation) (Nesmith), lifecycle (the record’s active or inactive status), and mandate (the charge to fill a repository’s role) (Driskill), are some of the major appliances of the archivist’s kitchen. These tools scale out to support rights negotiations leading to meaningful and ethical access.

Handdrawn image of pots, notepad, range hood and fire extinguisher, utensils, and a well ordered cupboard.

Figure 1: The Rights Management Kitchen, slide from the RMTF’s presentation.

– a pot, a pan, or a bowl → COLLECTING MANDATE

– paper on which to write your grocery list→ AGREEMENTS

– a range hood and fire extinguisher → LAW & INTERPRETATION

– sharp implements → CODES OF ETHICS, BEST PRACTICES

– a well-ordered cupboard → CONTROL STRATEGY



Duranti, L. (2007). “Archives as a place.” Archives & Social Studies: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Research. 1(0).

Driskill, M. (2015). “Archival policy.” The Encyclopedia of Archival Science, ed. L. Duranti and P. Franks.

Nesmith, T. (2015). “The principle of provenance.” The Encyclopedia of Archival Science, ed. L. Duranti and P. Franks.