Web Archiving & Preservation Working Group: Social Media & Complex Content

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This special installment of the Web Archiving & Preservation Working Group (WAPWG) will provide an opportunity for delegates to hear from experts on the capture and preservation of social media and complex web content. Guest speakers will address overarching trends in archiving this content, such as approaches and tools. Other guest speakers will present case studies that demonstrate the value of this content and how it can be captured and preserved in a way that is meaningful and usable. These talks from invited experts will generate discussion among delegates about how these issues are important to their institutions, their collections, and their users.

This meeting of the WAPWG is open to the community. General registration will open after a period of priority registration for DPC Members.


Remote Joining (DPC Members & Supporters only)

For DPC Members unable to attend in-person, the meeting will be accessible via Zoom using the following joining instructions:

DPC Members please log in to access instructions.


About the WAPWG

The Working Group was first formed as a Task Force in 2010 in an effort to coordinate national web archiving programmes. In recent years, however, new developments in web archiving have emerged and many more organisations have turned their attention to their own institutional requirements for managing and archiving their web records and collections.

'Web Archives' span a wide range of content types and describe many different types of information – from official government web records to large Twitter datasets for research. The revived Working Group aims to provide a forum for members to address all the diverse issues that arise when archiving web content for different purposes, with different audiences in mind.

Aiming to hold 2 to 3 in-person meetings each year, the Working Group's agenda items will be flexible to the needs of the membership and reflect issues as they arise. It is expected that attending organisations – as well as the delegates from those organisations – will vary depending on the topics on the agenda. All meetings will be open to all DPC members, regardless of previous participation.

Please send suggested agenda items to sara[dot]thomson[at]dpconline[dot]org.


Who Should Come?

Delegates from any institution currently archiving web content or planning to archive web content. This might include:

  • Web archivists or curators with responsibility for selecting, managing, and preserving web content
  • Archivists or curators who include, or are looking to include, web content as part of collections
  • Librarians, research support and research data and information specialists who support researchers and institutions using web content and web-based data
  • Records managers who include, or are looking to include, web content as part of corporate records
  • IT specialists or software developers building, or looking to build, support for the collection and preservation of web content
  • Managers, directors, and policy-makers responsible for fulfilling institutional mandates and policies for preserving web content



10.00 Registration, Tea & Coffee
10.30 Meeting Opens & Introduction by Chair, Sara Day Thomson (DPC)
10.45 Overview of Complex Web & Social Media Preservation by Sara Day Thomson
11.05 Overview of Collecting Approach to Complex Publications by Giulia Rossi (Curator of Digital Publications, British Library)
11.25 Case Study: Web Collections in Museums by Karin de Wild (Digital Fellow, One by One: building digitally confident museums, University of Leicester, National Museums of Scotland)
1145 Q&A
12.00 Lunch
12.45 Case Study: Defining and Capturing Web-based Interactive Fiction by Lynda Clark (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Innovation in Games and Media Enterprise, University of Dundee)
13.15 Case Study: Twitter Data for Social Science Research and Twitter Attribute Exercise by Luke Sloan (Deputy Director, Social Data Science Lab, University of Cardiff)
COSMOS Twitter Archiving Tool Demo  (legacy version - new version to be released soon!)
13.45 Q&A
14.00 Ethical Approaches to Archiving Social Media: an Intro by Sara Day Thomson
14.15 Small Group Activity

Ethical Deliberation: To Archive Twitter or Not to Archive Twitter

In small groups, delegates will be assigned propositions regarding the ethical viability of archiving Twitter data. These assigned propositions will represent approaches that crystallize the ethical conflicts that arise from the practice of capturing this valuable - yet potentially sensitive - user-generated data. Each group must develop a set of arguments to defend their assigned proposition and then share their arguments with the whole group at the end. All delegates will then anonymously vote for the most persuasively argued proposition using Mentimeter.

The arguments put forward by each group are not intended to reflect the actual views of any participating delegates or their organisations. Rather, the activity encourages abstract, critical exploration of difficult issues among fellow practitioners.

15.00 Feedback to Big Group
15.45 Remaining Items, Actions, & Next Steps
16.00 Close


How to register?

This event is free and open to all after a period of priority registration for DPC Members and DPC Supporters. General registration will open Monday 18 November. Each institution may register 1 delegate in the first instance. If seats are still available one week before the event, institutions may register an additional delegate. If you register and cannot make it, please let us know no later than Wednesday 8 January.

Waitlist enquiries should go to Sara Day Thomson at sara[dot]thomson[at]dpconline.org.

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