ArcLive is a Remote Visitation Service for researchers to access non-digitized documents from archives in real-time, replacing traditional travel at half the cost. Our research assistants use desk-mounted scanners to temporarily livestream historical documents in real time from around the world. This method eliminates traditional digitization and travel costs while staying within the legal requirements of copyright and fair use.
Remote Visitation is a tool which can be used to visit an archive through a surrogate research assistant. This type of access falls under the same restrictions that would normally apply to physically visiting an archive. For example, remote visitations may only occur during business hours, an assistant must manage the documents at all times, and no permanent digital copies may be created for unlimited public access.
Livestreams will be hosted by fully-trained research assistants who have experience with rare and historical documents. Special precautions are taken to ensure that documents aren’t damaged and remain safe within their hosting institution.
Our main scanner of choice is the Elmo MX-1, a high-resolution 4k document scanner commonly used in the classroom. The scanner will be run by an Eluktronics Pro-X laptop, one of the few laptops that can allow for 4K resolution livestreams. The camera will never directly touch the documents, and the built-in light will never be turned on.
Yes, remote visitation is perfectly legal.
ArcLive has been specifically designed to ensure that all copyright and fair use regulations in archives are followed, and qualifies as an accessibility tool so long as:
- Livesteams may only be conducted during normal archive visiting hours
- A trained research assistant must host and manage the livestream at all times
- The livesteam is fully encrypted and may only have 2 participants (host, and researcher)
- No screenshots or permanent digital copies of documents can be made without permission from the hosting institute
These restrictions prevent any of the abuses that may occur with permanent digitization and hosting of copyrighted documents,
while still allowing hosting institutions to increase international accessibility to their collections.
It is a violation of our terms of service to produce copies, permanently digitize or publicly share any documents without approval.
ArcLive is designing its livestreaming software to include alpha compositing channels hidden in the background. If a screenshot of permanent copy of a document is ever made, we can easily detect the exact time, date and source of that image to punish those responsible.
From there, legal action may be taken and the researcher responsible may be permanently banned from using the ArcLive service.
The ArcLive service will first be launching in Boston, MA and scale to other urban areas across the United States.
In the future, we plan to also spread to rural areas and internationally.
Yes! Share your name and email address to receive more information about ArcLive as the service enters Alpha and Beta testing.
Thanks for your interest in becoming a partner!
To become one of the first institutions to offer a remote visitation service with ArcLive, share your information on the Contact Us page.