Inside the User's Mind: results of the MADDLAIN project


MADDLAIN has brought together a panel comprised of IT specialists, archivists, library experts, information scientists, and historians, with the aim of understanding the needs and practices of those who use digital data in their research.

Apart from undertaking a general survey, MADDLAIN followed two tracks. On the one hand, we have analysed the online mediation tools used by persons searching the collections. On the other hand, we assessed the expectations of an important group among those users: the academic researchers.

Two types of data ware used:

  • the browsing data of catalogues
  • the non-structured or partly structured responses given in interviews and questionnaires.

In general, users have played an important role: in the spring of 2016, some 2,300 persons have answered the online survey. Due to this interaction, we have been able to formulate highly relevant conclusions.



A workshop was held on 22 February 2017. Today, the three associated institutions behind MADDLAIN – the Belgian State Archives, the Belgian Royal Library, and CegeSoma – are happy to present the results of their investigation.

You can download the complete results on the CegeSoma website.

The researchers also made a summary of the main issues:

Download in high resolution (pdf)