The recent transnational political and health crises are a stark reminder of the need to pay particular attention to the recurrent information that is diffused on the web and social media platforms. These digital documents, both sublime and sinister, have become a routine element in human activity, ranging from ironic memes about lockdown measures to tragic videos documenting the violent actions committed against civilians by armed forces. The nature of web archiving systems aims at sustaining these born-digital sources that are essential for the study of recent phenomena. Subsequently, these constitute precious materials that illustrate the history of the current context since the 1990s while contributing to the construction of a digital heritage, which is both a memory for future societies and an indispensable source of contemporary facts for future researchers.
Eight years after the first RESAW conference, which provided for ground-breaking debates on technical, scientific and archival aspects, the conference in Marseille, organised by Aix-Marseille University, proposes to appraise Web archives studies in relation to the research carried out on the Internet, social media, the Web archives and reborn digital heritage. It will examine the development of Web archiving while highlighting the way in which technical, cultural, geopolitical, societal and environmental transformations impact the conception, study and dissemination of this reborn digital heritage. There are many global challenges and the stakes of Web archiving affect not only researchers and GLAMs, but also the whole of civil society, as the many informal archiving initiatives led by amateurs in countries that do not have a collection system have illustrated. The conference will subsequently focus on the methods and practices implemented by those who have explored and continue to explore the archived Web while opening up perspectives for the years to come. Located on the Mediterranean shores, the conference in Marseille will be an opportunity to stimulate discussions based on the approaches used in different cultural areas on different levels in order to reflect on Web archiving in the Mediterranean and its surrounding areas. [Read more]
With a view to promoting the establishing of a collaborative European research infrastructure for the study of archived web materials the RESAW network — A Research Infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web Materials — was established in late 2012.