*Call for Participation: Archives Unleashed 4.0Web Archive Datathon*
The British Library
June 11 – 13, 2017
Travel grants will be available for US-based graduate students.
Applications for all attendees are due 31 March 2017.
Call for Participation
This event is the fourth workshop in the Archives Unleashed series. Each
event is a standalone datathon aimed at building the Web Archiving
community and providing a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration.
The World Wide Web has a profound impact on how we research and understand
the past. The sheer amount of cultural information that is generated and,
crucially, preserved every day in electronic form, presents exciting new
opportunities for researchers. Much of this information is captured within
Web archives often contain hundreds of billions of web pages, ranging from
individual homepages and social media posts, to institutional websites.
These archives offer tremendous potential for social scientists and
humanists, and the questions research may pose stretch across a multitude
of fields. Scholars broaching topics dating back to the mid-1990s will find
their projects enhanced by web data. Moreover, scholars hoping to study the
evolution of cultural and societal phenomena will find a treasure trove of
data in web archives. In short, web archives offer the ability to
reconstruct large-scale traces of the relatively recent past.
While there has been considerable discussion about web archive tools and
datasets, few forums or mechanisms for coordinated, mutually informing
development efforts have been created. Our series of datathons presents an
opportunity to collaboratively unleash our web collections,
exploring cutting-edge research tools while fostering a broad-based
consensus on future directions in web archive analysis.
This event will bring together a small group of 35 – 45 participants to
collaboratively develop new open-source tools and approaches to web
archives, and to kick-off collaboratively inspired research projects.
Researchers should be comfortable with command line interactions, and
knowledge of a scripting language (such as but not limited to Python) is
strongly desired. By bringing together a group of like-minded scholars and
programmers, we hope to begin building unified analytic production effort
and to continue coalescing this nascent research community.
At this event, we hope to continue to converge on a shared vision of future
directions in the use of web archives for inquiry in the humanities and
social sciences in order to build a community of practice around various
web archive analytics platforms and tools.
The event is sponsored by the British Library (lead sponsor), Rutgers
University, University of Waterloo, the National Science Foundation and the
International Internet Preservation Consortium. In addition, there will be
a reception the first night and a dinner the second night, supported by
funding from the NetLab at Aarhus University, the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council, and Rutgers University.
We are also providing sample datasets for people to work on during the
datathon, or they are happy to use their own. Included datasets are:
• The .gov web archive covering the American government domain
• The End of Term Web Archives (.gov/.mil), from 2008, 2012, and 2016
• Social media collections from the 2016 archive
• Canadian Political Parties and Political Interest Groups collection and
other datasets to be announced
Those interested in participating should send a 250-word expression of
interest and a CV to Ian Milligan (email@example.com) by 7 April 2017 with
“Archives Unleashed” in the subject line. This expression of interest
should address the scholarly questions that you will be bringing to
the datathon, and what datasets you might be interested in either working
with or bringing to the event. Applicants will be notified by 15 April 2017.
*We expect to be able to issue a limited number of travel grants available
for US-based doctoral students; preference will be given to those who have
not participated in the Archives Unleashed program in the past, although we
welcome returning participants. These grants can cover up to $1,000 USD in
expenses. If you are in an eligible position, please indicate in your
statement of interest that you would like to be considered for the travel