[Air-L] CFP Reminder: Archives Unleashed 4.0 in London, England, June 2017

Ian Milligan i2millig at uwaterloo.ca
Wed Apr 5 13:02:36 PDT 2017

Hi all –

Just a reminder if you or anybody else might be interested in joining us!
Many thanks,


Call for Participation: Archives Unleashed 4.0
Web 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 7 March 2017 (midnight anywhere in
the world).

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.

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 (i2millig at uwaterloo.ca) 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

On behalf of the organizers,

Matthew Weber (Rutgers University), Ian Milligan (University of Waterloo),
Jimmy Lin (University of Waterloo), and Olga Holownia (British Library

*Ian Milligan*
Assistant Professor
Department of History
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave W.
Waterloo ON N2L 3G1 Canada
@ianmilligan1 <https://twitter.com/ianmilligan1>

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