Upcoming Seminar - Web Archiving: Theorized Practices

Post date: Dec 04, 2012 1:43:42 PM

An expert meeting convened by Prof. dr. Richard Rogers and Anat Ben-David, New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam, under the auspices of the Cultural Heritage and Identity Section of the Research Priority Agenda, Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam

Thursday, 13 December 2012

15.30-17hrs, (followed by a reception)

Regentenkamer, Special Collections, University Library, University of Amsterdam

Oude Turfmarkt 129

Web archiving theory treats such questions as the beginning and the end of a website, or the ontology of the object to be archived. It also treats the difference between the website in its native environment, and the archived object in its archive environment. In other words, what does the archiving and the archive do to the website? Web archiving theory also asks epistemological questions of the collection practices (how to decide what is to be archived?), the uses put to web archives (why and how to use archives?), and the interplay between collection epistemology and imagined usage. Web collection practices are perhaps less eclectic and varied than one may expect from such an early field of inquiry. Following the tone-setting work by Foot and Schneider in 'web sphere analysis' just over a decade ago, web archives are often collections of websites about events (elections and disasters). There are also diaspora webs, national webs and the 'whole webs' (with of course many gaps), made from big data trawls. Each arguably has in-built ways of thinking about what is important for posterity, or how to approach history-writing and history-making: Web archives would aid with researching histories of events, (migrating) peoples, nations and anything online or perhaps the online itself. There is still the larger unanswered question of what the web adds as source to other records and media. There is also the question of whether web archives also are perhaps well suited for telling the history of the web, and the means by which other media forms (e.g., newspapers), organisations and individuals have used it, and presented/depicted themselves with it. Other questions to be taken up include professional versus other archiving practices, such as the platform approach (make not web archives but web archiving tools for others to archive and store/deposit it). We would like to explore the new collections or potential ones (such as tweets and quantified self data sets, but also APIs and other feeds). Finally, there are significant projects that represent new concatenations, amalgamations and aggregations (e.g., Mememto project), where the one may extract other 'webs' from the national ones. The seminar thus seeks to contribute to theorised practices of web archiving. 


Invited speakers


Mike Thelwall, Professor of Information Science, University of Wolverhampton


Niels Bruegger, Director, Centre for Internet Research, Aarhus University 


Julien Masanes, Director, Internet Memory Foundation

Information and registration