I’ve been having a great time here in Victoria, BC at the Association of Canadian Archivists’ annual meeting. As a historian, it’s been great learning from archivists: I’ve got a growing file full of journal articles to read, debates to brush up on, and lots of specific tidbits about how born-digital records fit within the archival context.
My contribution to the conference was a paper that I co-presented with Nick Ruest, the Digital Assets Librarian at York University. Our paper, “The Great WARC Adventure: WARCs from creation to use,” focused on the specific case study of the #freedaleaskey collection, a web archive comprised of daily crawls of blogs, websites, and discussion boards pertaining to the Dale Askey libel case.
Our slides are available here, via the York University institutional repository. We’re planning to do some more work on this project, and the slides may not be completely clear without our commentary. The key take home was that these kinds of web archives are pretty cheap and easy to make (this was created using wget), and the daily frequency of the web crawls can allow historians to do some fun longitudinal distant reading. Stay tuned for more on this over the next few months.