Archives Use of Social Media to Develop Connections with Family Historians
The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a research project designed to investigate how social media is being used by archives to develop connections with family historians. This research used qualitative methodology and utilised Skype and Instant Messaging to conduct semi-structured interviews with participants from six archives. The research uses Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation theory as a framework. The research found the interviewees were using social media in various combinations to serve different purposes. In the majority of cases these tools were being used to achieve maximum access to the wider online community. The study highlights issues and concerns discussed by participants when using social media. There were limited examples of social media use to make connections with family historians during the study. Nonetheless this paper provides three detailed instances of its use to illustrate how archives can make these connections.