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In an effort to advance the professional discourse around establishing best practices for access to born-digital archival collections, we designed a multi-phase, mixed-methods initiative, begun in 2014, that aimed to identify gaps and challenges in existing access methods and identify plans for how cultural heritage organizations hoped to improve access practices in the future. Over the course of our collaboration, our goals quickly evolved beyond the scope of collecting and publishing a static data set. We were inspired by models of research in practice, participatory action research, and research and development to translate our results into action by using the data to kickstart collaborative progress towards the future of archival practice. Through this paper, we synthesized our personal experiences of conducting the study, our exploration of existing models, and our aims and hopes for the future of research in our field into a framework for research in practice called Participatory Archival Research and Development (PAR&D).



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