Archiving Social Media: a Comparative Study of the Practices, Obstacles, and Opportunities Related to the Development of Social Media Archives
My PhD project proposes to conduct a comparative study of national and international cultural heritage institutions that are either already involved with, or are planning to undertake the long-term preservation of social media content. As a digital assemblage of data, objects and human interactions, social media holds a unique cultural value as it offers privileged insight on to international, national and family history, social trends, politics and economic matters.
In the last decade, archivists and information professionals have come a long way in the practice of archiving social media, but it is clear that they are still facing significant challenges when it comes to processing, preserving and providing access to this data for the long-term.
My research aims to contribute to the debate about the manifold issues faced by cultural heritage institutions concerned with the archiving of social media and the future of social media preservation by analysing and comparing the direct experience of web archivists and curators, aiming ultimately to define best practices and guidelines for upcoming projects.