|Exploring Online Diasporas: London’s French and Latin American Communities in the UK Web Archive
|Huc-Hepher, S. and Wells, N.
|Gomes, D., Demidova, E., Winters, J. and Risse, T.
The aim of the UK Web Archive to collect and preserve the entire UK web domain ensures that it is able to reflect the diversity of voices and communities present on the open web, including migrant communities who sustain a presence across digital and physical environments. At the same time, patterns of wider social and political exclusion, as well as the use of languages other than English, mean these communities’ web presence is often overlooked in more generic and Anglophone web archiving and (re)searching practices.
In light of the valuable, and potentially neglected, histories of migrant communities recorded in the open web, this chapter focuses on the analysis of archived web materials included in two Special Collections developed by the researchers on French and Latin American communities in London. As well as addressing the relationship between these Collections and the communities represented, we will draw on examples of archived web materials to illustrate the insights they offer into these communities, into local and national histories, and into the wider history of the web. We will highlight the different types of web objects available for analysis, from individual blogs to collective community sites. Paying specific attention to evolving language and translation strategies over time, we will also address the complex interweaving of different modes of communication and representation, including visual and other media.
These examples demonstrate the specific skillsets researchers of languages and cultures can bring to web archives research, as well as what can be gained by broadening our traditional objects of analysis. Through the development and analysis of diasporic web collections, the chapter illustrates the vital histories we can excavate from the archived web, ensuring against the threat of collective amnesia for communities often overlooked in national archives and collections.
|The Past Web: Exploring Web Archives
|01 Jul 2021
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