Working to Advance Library Support for Web Archive Research 

Working to Advance Library Support for Web Archive Research

The Internet Archive recently organized two in-person workshops, namely “Digital Scholarship & the Web” and “Art Resources on the Web,” with the aim of advancing library support for web archive research. These workshops were held at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) conference in Pittsburgh and the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS) conference in Mexico City. The events brought together librarians, archivists, program officers, graduate students, and disciplinary researchers to explore web archive creation and computational analysis.

The workshops were developed in collaboration with the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) and are part of an ongoing series hosted by the Internet Archive until Summer 2023. The objectives of these workshops were as follows:

  1. Introduce participants to web archives as primary sources for computational research questions.
  2. Familiarize participants with research use cases that involve web archives.
  3. Provide hands-on experience in creating web archive collections and computationally analyzing them using ARCH (Archives Research Compute Hub), a service set to launch publicly in June 2023.

During the workshops, Internet Archive staff guided participants through web archiving workflows, presented various web archiving tools and technologies, and offered practical sessions on building web archives. Participants also gained exposure to ARCH, which facilitates computational research with web archive collections by providing access to research-ready datasets, in-browser visualization, dataset analysis, and open dataset publication. Palladio, Voyant, and RAWGraphs were used to explore the data generated with ARCH.

The workshops concluded with vibrant discussions on web archive research ethics, research use cases, and approaches to expanding library support for researchers interested in working with web archive collections. These discussions may have marked the beginning of a community of interest. The Internet Archive plans to host future workshops focused on computational research with web archives, and interested individuals are encouraged to stay updated through the Event Calendar.

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