[Humanist] 27.95 events: web archives for historians

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Jun 5 23:51:17 CEST 2013

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 95.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2013 12:28:14 -0400
        From: Seth Denbo <sdenbo at gmail.com>
        Subject: Digital History Seminar -- Tuesday 11 June -- Web Archives: A New Class of Primary Source for Historians?

Web Archives: A New Class of Primary Source for Historians?

Peter Webster (British Library) and Richard Deswarte (University of East

This will be a joint session with the Archives and Society
Seminar http://www.history.ac.uk/events/seminars/211 

11 June 2013, 5.15pm GMT

Bedford Room G37, Senate house, Ground floor (see below for details of the
live stream)


When viewed in historical context, the speed at which the world
wide web has become fundamental to the exchange of information is perhaps
unprecedented. The Internet Archive began its work in archiving the web in
1996, and since then national libraries and other memory institutions have
followed suit in archiving the web along national or thematic lines.

However, whilst scholars of the web as a system have been quick to embrace
archived web materials as the stuff of their scholarship, historians have
been slower in thinking through the nature and possible uses of a new class
of primary source.

In April 2013 the six legal deposit libraries for the UK were granted
powers to archive the whole of the UK web domain, in parallel with the
historic right of legal deposit for print. As such, over time there will be
a near-comprehensive archive of the UK web available for historical
analysis, which will grow and grow in value as the span of time it covers
lengthens. This paper introduces the JISC-funded AADDA (Analytical Access
to the Domain Dark Archive) project. Led by the Institute of Historical
Research (IHR) in partnership with the British Library and the University
of Cambridge, AADDA seeks to demonstrate the value of longitudinal web
archives by means of the JISC UK Web Domain Dataset. This dataset includes
the holdings of the Internet Archive for the UK for the period 1996-2010,
purchased by the JISC and placed in the care of the British Library. The
project has brought together scholars from the humanities and social
sciences in order to begin to imagine what scholarly enquiry with assets
such as these would look like.

Dr Peter Webster is web archiving and engagement and liaison manager for
the British Library, and an historian of contemporary Britain.

Dr Richard Deswarte is Research Associate in the School of History at
UEA. He will speak about his AADDA project which examines how the Web
Domain Dataset can be used to explore the rise of British Euroscepticism.
He will highlight some of the digital approaches and wider research goals
from his initial exploratory work using the archive.

To join us on the live stream click on the podcast page of History
SPOT  http://historyspot.org.uk/podcasts and
open up the pop out boxes on 11 June.

Additional resources:

The AADDA project blog  http://domaindarkarchive.blogspot.co.uk/ 

The Digital History Seminar is co-sponsored by IHR Digital

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