In most cases today, tagging and commenting in museums and archives are intended to improve access to collections, by making them searchable, enriched by user-generated information. The aim of facilitating tagging and commenting on different platforms is also to generate extended user engage - ment. So far this practice has been built on digitised analogue holdings, rather than born-digital material.
In the cases presented in this chapter, the use of tagging is expanded from work processes connected to access and outreach to acquisition, as (hash)tagging is used as a tool for active acquisition or collecting of contem - porary visual digital documentation in museums and archives. The focus in the cases is on methods, which invite the public to share social media photography with the cultural heritage institutions in a co-participative way. The photos are simultaneously turned into cultural heritage or archives in the joint process. The practice of tagging is used as a tool or method by staff in archives and museums in the project Collecting Social Photography for two purposes: to get an overview of the users’ motives and practices enabling identification and selection of material to be collected; and to communicate with users and producers in order to engage in dialogue, and to encourage collaboration and co-creation.
Collecting social photography
The 2017–2020 Nordic project Collecting Social Photography (CoSoPho) is a collaboration between The Nordic Museum in Stockholm (national), Stockholm County Museum (regional), The Finnish Museum of Photography (national) and Aalborg City Archives (local) in Denmark. The main goal of the project is to develop new work practices and methods in archives and museums to collect and disseminate the ephemeral everyday born-digital pictures.
In a digital social world, the role of photography has changed dramatically. The majority of photographs are found today on social media and the internet. From being static and clearly delimited, regarded as scientific evidence, memories or art, the photograph has become social and often part of a dialogue, an ongoing online conversation. Photographs are no longer mainly created to preserve memories but to communicate what is now or in the present, and therefore they become easily disposable.