Lost in the Infinite Archive

Zooming to Infinity Tdadamemd - File:Square-InfinitelyQuartered.jpg CC BY-SA 3.0

Zooming to Infinity
Tdadamemd – File:Square-InfinitelyQuartered.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0

« In this paper, “Lost in the Infinite Archive,” I explore what the future of digital methods for historians will be when they need to explore web archives. Historical research of periods beginning in the mid-1990s will need to use web archives, and right now we are not ready. This article draws on first-hand research with the Internet Archive and Archive-It web archiving teams. It draws upon three exhaustive datasets: the large Web ARChive (WARC) files that make up Wide Web Scrapes of the Web; the metadata-intensive WAT files that provide networked contextual information; and the lifted-straight-from-the-web guerilla archives generated by groups like Archive Team. Through these case studies, we can see – hands-on – what richness and potentials lie in these new cultural records, and what approaches we may need to adopt. It helps underscore the need to have humanists involved at this early, crucial stage ».

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Lost in the Infinite Archive: The Promise and Pitfalls of Web Archives

Citation Information. Volume 10, Issue 1, Page 78-94, ISSN 1753-8548, Available Online March 2016 .