[Air-l] Invitation to VKS meeting on Web archiving

Paul Wouters paul.wouters at vks.knaw.nl
Tue Sep 5 01:36:33 PDT 2006

Apologies for cross postings


What is the use of Web archiving for research? - a discussion from the point of 
view of the social scientist and humanities scholar

26 September 2006 - at 13.30 o´clock - at the Virtual Knowledge Studio, 
Cruquiusweg 31, Amsterdam. For directions see www.virtualknowledgestudio.nl 

Increasingly, social scientists and scholars in the humanities are exploring the use of 
the Web in their research as a source of data or research objects. Usually, these 
studies are incorporating "the live Web" because there is no practical alternative. As 
a result, scholars have to cope with the instability of the Web, with ambiguous 
instances of data sources and Web objects, and with the disappearance of Web 
phenomena. This creates strong limitations to the interpretative and explanatory 
power of Web studies.

This meeting aims to explore a new way of collecting and analyzing the Web: the use 
of Web archives in social science and humanities research. Web archiving has 
already been initiated by a number of national libraries, amongst others the 
Australian, French, American, British and Dutch national libraries. They were 
stimulated by the invention of the Internet Archive in the US. These initiatives can be 
mobilized to create new research possibilities provided they are enriched and 
confronted with the perspectives of the research communities in the humanities and 
social sciences.

The meeting will explore the potential of Web archiving to enhance existing research 
projects. Prof. Steve Schneider (Web Archivist, State University of New York) will 
give a keynote entitled "Scholarly Web Archiving: Processes, Challenges, 
Techniques &  Tools" (for the abstract, see below). The second part of the meeting 
will be an exploration of the type of research questions that may profit from some 
form of Web archiving. We will also discuss the limitations and conceptual puzzles 
posed by Web archiving as a prospective tool for research.

We would like to invite you to participate in this discussion. We have reserved room 
in the programme for responses and additional presentations on the topic of Web 
archiving. If you would like to give a presentation or prepared contribution, please 
contact Paul Wouters at paul.wouters at vks.knaw.nl. 

RSVP: please let us know if you will participate in this event 
(paul.wouters at vks.knaw.nl). You will receive a detailed programme of the meeting 
a week in advance.

Abstract keynote Steve Schneider:

This presentation will introduce the "VKS Web Archiving Knowledge Base," a 
presentation of current knowledge and understanding concerning scholarly Web 
archiving.  The knowledge base, built on a wiki-like platform, is itself an exercise in  
scholarly Web archiving, and demonstrates in a reflexive mode the processes 
associated with Web archiving, and the challenges Web archiving poses to scholars 
in the humanities and social sciences. The knowledge base also identifies techniques 
and tools that can be deployed to complete each of the processes, reviews recent Web  
archiving projects, and outlines potential projects and collaborative opportunities 
with the Virtual Knowledge Studio.

Paul Wouters

Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Cruquiusweg 31
1019 AT Amsterdam, NL
T: +3120 8500463
F: +3120 8500271

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