The Web as History - Using Web Archives to Understand the Past and the Present
Publisher: UCL Press
The World Wide Web has now been in use for more than 20 years. From early browsers to today’s principal source of information, entertainment and much else, the Web is an integral part of our daily lives, to the extent that some people
believe ‘if it’s not online, it doesn’t exist.’ While this statement is not entirely true, it is becoming increasingly accurate, and reflects the Web’s role as an indispensable treasure trove. It is curious, therefore, that historians and social scientists have thus far made little use of the Web to investigate historical patterns of culture and society, despite making good use of letters, novels, newspapers, radio and television programmes, and other pre-digital artefacts.
volume argues that now is the time to question what we have learnt from the Web
so far. The 12 chapters explore this topic from a number of interdisciplinary
angles – through histories of national web spaces and case studies of different
government and media domains – as well as an introduction that provides an
overview of this exciting new area of research.
Praise for The Web as History
'Essential reading both for understanding how historians would like to use the web archives we have been assembling and for hinting at how archival theory and practice can engage with a much richer conception of what archiving the Web means.'The American Archivist'The Web as History is a timely and topical collection jam-packed with interesting research and creative methodological discussions. I am convinced many humanities and social sciences researchers working in similar areas and historians venturing into this field, but also students on different levels – interested in the history of the Web or issues of method – will greatly benefit from reading this volume.'Nordicom Review
'This book is definitely useful for anyone who wants to analyze site content, or who thinks about how the content of the Internet can be archived at all... [of interest to] anyone who is interested in the Internet as a social phenomenon'Journal Czech Society (Review translated from Czech)
‘[The Web as History] has shared the first fruit of research and moved on from discussing the impediments to working with web archives. It is a starting point and a fascinating indication of what the enormous richness of the archived web has to offer.’Internet Histories‘No other work as cohesively, clearly, forcefully and successfully argues for the Web’s centrality in contemporary society and social science. While scholars of new media tend to turn their attention to the newest and latest new media phenomena, the Web is and will continue to be crucial to understanding online phenomena generally and, just as critically, providing a record of online discourse and events.’ Steve Jones, UIC Distinguished Professor of Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago