With online Web content constantly and rapidly disappearing, any scholar wanting to mine that resource relies heavily on someone archiving it. However, the archived Web is a peculiar type of historical document, and archiving it as a research object must be approached differently than other digital media. A Web archive literacy is critically needed to preserve this ever-growing piece of human history.
This presentation outlines the specific nature of the archived Web, in contrast to the online Web and digitized historical documents, such as newspapers. In addition, it articulates the main impacts the archived Web's inherent nature has on how it can be used as a scholarly resource by Web historians and the media.
Niels Brügger is a professor in internet studies and digital humanities, head of the Centre for Internet Studies and of the internet research infrastructure NetLab at Aarhus University in Denmark. His research interests are Web historiography, Web archiving and media theory. Within these fields he has published monographs and a number of edited books as well as articles and book chapters. Recent publications include The Archived Web: Doing History in the Digital Age (MIT Press, 2018), Web25, a special issue of New Media & Society, The Web as History: Using Web Archives to Understand the Past and the Present (edited with Ralph Schroeder, UCL Press 2017), and Web 25: Histories from the first 25 years of the World Wide Web (Peter Lang 2017). He is co-founder and managing editor of the newly founded international journal Internet Histories: Digital Technology, Culture and Society (Taylor & Francis/Routledge).