Web archives and research in the arts and humanities, 26 February 2014

The live web is of enormous importance to researchers in the arts and humanities, whether as a primary source or as a means of communication and networking. The archiving of this vast range of material, so that it is accessible to both contemporary and future researchers, increasingly occupies national memory institutions such as the British Library and The National Archives in the UK. However, web archives offer unique challenges for researchers, and we are only just beginning to develop the expertise and the tools to exploit them effectively.

Focusing on the archive of UK web space from 1996 to 2013, this workshop will discuss how the web is archived. and the value of web archives for researchers in the arts and humanities. It will also showcase existing research projects which have used web archives as a primary source, notably in the field of history. The event is a collaboration between the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, the British Library and the Oxford Internet Institute.


12.45   Registration and lunch
1.30     Welcome and introduction to the project – Jane Winters (Institute of Historical Research)
1.45     Web archives at the British Library – Peter Webster (British Library)
2.15     UK web archives: the first two decades – Eric Meyer, Josh Cowls and Ralph Schroeder (Oxford Internet Institute)
2.30     Web archives: a new class of primary source for historians – Richard Deswarte
(University of East Anglia)
3.00     Tea and coffee
3.15     The UK Government Web Archive – Suzy Espley and Tom Storrar (The National Archives of the UK)
3.45     Keynote: Web archive-based research and web archives: a necessary but biased
collaboration – Niels Brügger (Aarhus University)
4.30     Discussion
5.00     Close

To register go to the workshop page on Eventbrite. Registration is free, but places are limited so early booking is advised. The event is located in Room G22 (Woburn Room), on the ground floor of the University of London Senate House building. Lunch will also be provided.


The workshop will provide a forum for researchers to discuss the development of tools and services at the British Library, as well as an opportunity to engage with this development process in the longer term. To this end, we will be offering 10 bursaries of £2,000 each to researchers in the arts and humanities, including but not restricted to postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The bursaries are NOT intended to support attendance at this workshop, but to allow researchers to develop small research projects. Details and an application form are available here.