Student profile: Ricardo Punzalan

Ricky Punzalan

Ricardo (Ricky) Punzalan is a doctoral student at UMSI.

Ricardo (Ricky) Punzalan is a doctoral candidate in archives and museum studies at the School of Information. In January 2013, he will join the faculty of the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland as an assistant professor.

In addition to an MLIS from the University of the Philippines, he has completed two certificates of graduate studies at Michigan, one in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and another in Museum Studies. He is currently working on his dissertation, which examines virtual reunification as a strategy to integrate dispersed archival images online.

He has been active internationally in developing community archives. In May and June 2009, he worked in Techiman, Ghana, to establish the archives of the traditional council and studied the impact of placing this archival unit within a proposed community heritage center. From 2005-06, he organized the archives of Culion, a former leprosarium in the Philippines and curated a museum exhibit for the centennial of the community’s founding as a segregation facility.

Prior to his doctoral work at Michigan, he was on the faculty of the University of the Philippines School of Library and Information Studies, where he served as assistant professor of archives and library science and as museum archivist for the Vargas Museum. His articles have been published in Archival Science, Archivaria, and Archives and Manuscripts.

The following is an abstract of Ricky’s dissertation: Virtual Reunification: Bits and Pieces Put Together to Form a Semblance of a Whole.

“Virtual reunification offers new possibilities to create and assemble digital versions of archives, artifacts, rare books, manuscripts, and other literary or artistic works of common origin that have been geographically dispersed for historical, political, or cultural reasons. How do institutions assess their readiness and suitability to pursue virtual reunification? What needs to be considered for this multi-institutional, cooperative digital initiative to proceed?

“The ways that institutions with varying digitization programs, priorities, and strategies negotiate this complex endeavor still remain largely unexamined. This dissertation addresses these questions by focusing on the challenges of reunifying Dean C. Worcester’s ethnographic photographs of the U.S. colonial Philippines. Worcester served as a U.S. administrator in the Philippines from 1899 to 1913.

“These images, which were taken during ‘ethnographic surveys’ of the islands, are currently dispersed among ten libraries, museums and archives in North America and Europe. This photographic collection is used as a case study to explore issues that arise when groups of institutions consider virtual reunification as a strategy to integrate dispersed photographic collections.”

1 thought on “Student profile: Ricardo Punzalan”

  1. Go Ricky! On the breaking news front, Ricky has (at least, stay tuned!) two faculty job offers from top-flight programs. He’ll be playing a major role in preservation and archival science for years to come.

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