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Saving the Web: Facets of Web Archiving in Everyday Practice

Saving the Web: Facets of Web Archiving in Everyday Practice
Saving the Web: Facets of Web Archiving in Everyday Practice
This thesis makes visible the work of archiving the Web. It demonstrates the growing role of web archives (WAs) in the circulation of information and culture online, and emphasises the inherent connections between how the Web is archived, its future use and our understandings of WAs, archivists and the Web itself. As the first in-depth sociotechnical study of web archiving, this research offers a view into the ways that web archivists are shaping what and how the Web is saved for the future. Using a combination of ethnographic observation, interviews and documentary sources, the thesis investigates web archiving at three sites: the Internet Archive – the world’s largest web archive; Archive Team – ‘a loose collective of rogue archivists and programmers’ archiving the Web; and the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) –a community of academics, librarians and activists formed in the wake of the 2016US Presidential Election to safe-guard environmental and climate data. Through the application of practice theory, thematic analysis and facet methodology, I frame my findings through three ‘facets of web archiving’: infrastructure, culture and politics.I show that the web archival activities of organisations, people and bots are both historically-situated and embedded in the contemporary politics of online communication and information sharing. WAs are reflected on as ‘places’ where the past,present and future of the Web collapses around an evolving assemblage of sociotechnical practices and actors dedicated to enabling different (and at times, conflicting)community-defined imaginaries for the Web. WAs are revealed to be contested sites where these politics are enabled and enacted over time. This thesis therefore contributes to research on the performance of power and politics on the Web, and raises new questions concerning how different communities negotiate the challenges of ephemerality and strive to build the ‘Web they want’.iii
University of Southampton
Ogden, Jessica Rose
b6d5ec4e-8ea5-421c-8db2-d46aea6af925
Ogden, Jessica Rose
b6d5ec4e-8ea5-421c-8db2-d46aea6af925
Walker, John Charles
73a65297-4ef1-4ad0-88ea-1626f11f0665
Halford, Susan
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Carr, Leslie
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Ogden, Jessica Rose (2020) Saving the Web: Facets of Web Archiving in Everyday Practice. Doctoral Thesis, 260pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis makes visible the work of archiving the Web. It demonstrates the growing role of web archives (WAs) in the circulation of information and culture online, and emphasises the inherent connections between how the Web is archived, its future use and our understandings of WAs, archivists and the Web itself. As the first in-depth sociotechnical study of web archiving, this research offers a view into the ways that web archivists are shaping what and how the Web is saved for the future. Using a combination of ethnographic observation, interviews and documentary sources, the thesis investigates web archiving at three sites: the Internet Archive – the world’s largest web archive; Archive Team – ‘a loose collective of rogue archivists and programmers’ archiving the Web; and the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) –a community of academics, librarians and activists formed in the wake of the 2016US Presidential Election to safe-guard environmental and climate data. Through the application of practice theory, thematic analysis and facet methodology, I frame my findings through three ‘facets of web archiving’: infrastructure, culture and politics.I show that the web archival activities of organisations, people and bots are both historically-situated and embedded in the contemporary politics of online communication and information sharing. WAs are reflected on as ‘places’ where the past,present and future of the Web collapses around an evolving assemblage of sociotechnical practices and actors dedicated to enabling different (and at times, conflicting)community-defined imaginaries for the Web. WAs are revealed to be contested sites where these politics are enabled and enacted over time. This thesis therefore contributes to research on the performance of power and politics on the Web, and raises new questions concerning how different communities negotiate the challenges of ephemerality and strive to build the ‘Web they want’.iii

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More information

Published date: August 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 447624
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/447624
PURE UUID: 608df452-261a-4f73-a398-8edbce965ac8
ORCID for Jessica Rose Ogden: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4696-7340
ORCID for John Charles Walker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4875-3311
ORCID for Leslie Carr: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2113-9680

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Mar 2021 17:31
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 03:03

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Contributors

Author: Jessica Rose Ogden ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: John Charles Walker ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Susan Halford
Thesis advisor: Leslie Carr ORCID iD

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