Archive Futures: Operations, Time Objects, Collectives

Call for applications : The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies – a collaboration between the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Internationales Kolleg fürKulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM) and Princeton University (German Department) – returns to Weimar in 2015 for its fifth installment. The topic will be “Archive Futures: Operations, Time Objects, Collectives”.

We live in an age of feverish archival production: thanks to digitization never before has so much become so readily accessible to so many so easily and so fast. Extant archives are being re-conceptualized and reconfigured, card-catalogues are being replaced by search engines, and entire domains of daily life have become subject to a generalized quotidian archival impulse conducted by individuals (as in the auto-surveillant mimetic narcissism of self-archiving on Facebook or Twitter), corporations (as in the industry of ‘data-shadows’ produced through the aggregation of databases) and the state (as in the dystopic fantasy of the US ‘Total Information Awareness’ program). Interestingly, digitization often goes along with a mimesis of the traditional analog archive in terms of user interfaces or addressing procedures. And yet an astonishing percentage of already-digitized collections has already begun to disappear, victims of the often-fatal consequences of hard- and software platform anachronization. Archives today are threatened both if they fail to engage with the digital and – ironically – if they embrace it wholeheartedly without thinking through the material, institutional and economic consequences of digital longevity. “Future-proofing” a digital archive requires extensive financial and technical resources in ways entirely different from previous epistemes of library science.

The problem of digitization thus reveals that the archive is not – indeed has never been – defined merely as a collection or a storage room, but is rather a set of procedures, practices, or operations, of rules and protocols. These operations, internal and external as well as gatekeeping ones, such as selection, are not only core processes of the making of history, of memory building, of juridical power and political legitimation, and of collective identity production; at the same time, they create the operational frameworks for defining future(s) as possibilities to break with the past. The opening up of archives in post-1989 Central-Eastern Europe can, for instance, be read in just such a context.

(Read the rest of call and the guidelines for submitting an application. Also, check the previous installments of the Princeton-Weimar Summer School, as well as a shorter version of the call on their website)

Les collections de Archive-It propose depuis 2006 Archive-It, un service d’archivage par abonnement qui permet de collecter, organiser et préserver des archives Web à travers une interface conviviale. Les collections sont hébergées sur les serveurs d’, indexées par la Wayback machine et visibles publiquement sur le Web. Plus de 300 organismes utilisent le service, parmi lesquels des bibliothèques publiques, des archives nationales, des musées, des sociétés d’historiens…

On remarquera, parmi les collections, celle dédiée aux technologies de l’information, maintenue par la IT History Society (ITHS), qui recèle plusieurs sous-collections sur l’histoire du Web.

Information and Intrigue

9780262027021Colin B. Burke, Information and Intrigue. From Index Cards to Dewey Decimals to Alger Hiss, The MIT Press, 2014.

“In Information and Intrigue Colin Burke tells the story of one man’s plan to revolutionize the world’s science information systems and how science itself became enmeshed with ideology and the institutions of modern liberalism. In the 1890s, the idealistic American Herbert Haviland Field established the Concilium Bibliographicum, a Switzerland-based science information service that sent millions of index cards to American and European scientists. Field’s radical new idea was to index major ideas rather than books or documents. In his struggle to create and maintain his system, Field became entangled with nationalistic struggles over the control of science information, the new system of American philanthropy (powered by millionaires), the politics of an emerging American professional science, and in the efforts of another information visionary, Paul Otlet, to create a pre-digital worldwide database for all subjects.”. Lire la suite 

Net Cafe Show

Net Cafe was the world’s most widely distributed television series covering the Internet revolution during the height of the dot com boom. The series was broadcast throughout the United States and in more than one hundred other countries for six years, from 1996 through 2002. A retrouver dans Internet Archive

Internet Studies Past, Present and Future Directions, Panayiota Tsatsou

9781409446415This book considers the lessons learnt so far from the emergence of the Internet and the development of the field of Internet studies, whilst also considering possible directions for the future. Examining broad media theories and emerging theorisations around the Internet specifically, it explores the possibility of the development of an Internet theory in the future. A comprehensive overview of the field, Internet Studies considers key issues of social importance that the study of the Internet draws upon, such as the role of the Internet in civic participation and democratisation, the development of virtual communities, digital divides and social inequality, as well as Internet governance and policy control. At the same time, it examines the role of the Internet in social research and the development of highly interdisciplinary and rapidly developing Internet research. Hence, this volume maps key areas of certainty and uncertainty in the field of Internet studies and, as such, it will be of interest to scholars and students of media and communication, sociology and social research methods.