White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

AutoTopography: What Can Physical Mementos Tell us about Digital Memories?

Petrelli, D., Whittaker, S. and Brockmeier, J. (2008) AutoTopography: What Can Physical Mementos Tell us about Digital Memories? In: CHI 2008. CHI 2008, 5-10 April 2008, Florence (Italy). ACM .


Download (3287Kb)


Current technology makes it possible to capture huge amounts of information related to everyday experiences. Despite this, we know little about the processes by which people identify and manage mementos - objects which are directly meaningful to their memories. Among the millions of objects people encounter in a lifetime, few become such reminders of people, places or events. We report fieldwork where participants gave us a tour of their homes describing how and why particular objects become mementos. Our findings extend the existing digital memory literature; first our participants didn’t view their activities as experiential ‘capture’, nor were mementos limited to pictorial representations of people and events; instead they included everyday objects. Furthermore, mementos were not only displayed and shared, but also integrated into everyday activities. Finally there were complex relations between house location and memento type. We discuss the theoretical and technical implications of our work.

Item Type: Proceedings Paper
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2008 ACM. To be published in the Proceedings of CHI 2008. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. This paper received an Honorable Mention.
Keywords: Fieldwork, autobiographical memory, digital mementos, material culture.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: dr. Daniela Petrelli
Date Deposited: 12 May 2008 12:44
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:56
Status: Published
Publisher: ACM
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3773

Actions (repository staff only: login required)