WARCNet Keynote: You shouldn’t need to be a web historian to use web archives

It was my honour to give the Tuesday afternoon keynote at WARCnet, a “WebARChive studies network researching web domains and events.” All of the talks are now available here, both slides and videos.

My own keynote was entitled “You shouldn’t need to be a web historian to use web archives: Lowering barriers to access through community and infrastructure.” Here’s the abstract:

If a researcher currently wants to use web archives at scale, they need to be a significant focus of their research activity — in other words, a web historian really can’t just dabble with these sources. Yet historians need to be able to draw on wide varieties of sources for their projects (from archival records to newspaper records to oral histories and beyond). In this talk, I explore how we are developing tools to lower these barriers so that a historian really could use web history data without a significant investment of time. I’ll begin by discussing the current situation of working with web archives, and then highlight the Archives Unleashed project, datathons, and other ways in which cultural organizations are making web archives accessible.

You can watch it below. Don’t worry, the intro music is only about five-seconds long! I’ve also put all the slides if you just want to skim through them.

The Slides

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Ian Milligan
Associate Professor of History

Exploring how technology is transforming historical research.