Learning from web archives: A discussion with scholars in North and Latin America 

January 16th, 2024

by Karl Blumenthal, Web Archivist

The InfoTecarios podcast hosted a rich discussion about the opportunities, challenges, and new models for collaboratve digital scholarship using web archives with early adopters of the Archives Research Compute Hub (ARCH). InfoTecarios covers technology in libraries, archives, and memory institutions across Latin America. You can catch up with the conversation anytime here:

Participants began collaborating in the Archives Unleashed Cohorts program supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and they continue their work through to the present. 

Dr. Emily Lynell Edwards introduced her research into American online influencer culture and its roots in blogging. Emily’s team discovered opportunities in the web archive format to follow discursive influence online across texts and time. 

Dr. Rosario Rogel-Salazar highlighted the need to engage Latin American communities in web archiving to support future research there. Alan Colín-Arce proposed potential futures for web archives to confront or confirm biases in artificial intelligence. Rosario and Alan worked together to curate and analyze web data from feminist movements in Latin America where it was lacking in other web archives.

I was pleased to contextualize the development of ARCH to support these and future scholars’ needs for computational research services. Emily, Rosario, Alan, and their colleagues provided key input on the design of ARCH to support research with primary source data from curated web archive collections. The Internet Archvive is expanding that scope currently to support more digital collections, including texts and images, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Learn more about the (near!) future of ARCH as a computational research platform here on the Internet Archive blog.

Thanks to the InfoTecarios team, and to hosts Alejandra Quiroz Hernández and Saúl Mtz. Equihua, for moderating and translating our discussion live to Spanish- and English-speaking audiences.