- The Australian Web Archive, with fieldwork based at the National Library of Australia (NLA).
- The State Library of New South Wales’ (SLNSW) Social Media Archive, with fieldwork based at SLNSW.
My project takes an ethnographic approach, involving a flexible period of on-location observation with those involved in web and social media archiving at the NLA and SLNSW. Fieldwork will allow me to develop an understanding of the interactions between technologies, materials, and people that produce these two collections and the range of factors that shape their contents and character. My research would ideally involve 6-8 weeks of fieldwork at each institution.
Participation would involve permitting me to be in your working environment and to observe (as a participant or non-participant, as appropriate) work activities relating to the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of web and/or social media archives. I may ask informal questions or clarifications relating to the observed activities. I am particularly interested in how expert knowledge is developed and shared, how decisions are made, and the various technologies, documents, materials, and people brought together to develop collections.
I will use interviews to contextualise my observations and develop an understanding of the history and practices of web and/or social media collecting at your organisation. Interviews will involve a series of questions about how you understand the relationship between the history, goals, and obligations of a national/state library and capturing, storing, and disseminating online material. I am also interested in the historical development of web or social media archives within your organisation, and your involvement in this. I anticipate interviews will take no more than 90 minutes. These interviews will be recorded and transcribed for analysis. Any documentation or materials supplied by participants ahead of these interviews can be used to ground the discussion.
In order to make the research process as mutually beneficial as possible, I would be happy to discuss possibilities for collaborative endeavours, including research projects and ideas for collective writing and publishing.
If you are interested in collaborating, or to find out more, please contact me via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
This project has been approved by the RMIT University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval Number: CHEAN B 21601-07/18).