Lecture / Reading

Digital Humanities, Web History, Web Archives, and Web Research Infrastructure — between close and distant reading

Sponsored by Stanford University Libraries


Thursday, April 7, 2016
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Add to my calendar


Green Library, SSRC Seminar Room, Bing Wing, 1st floor
Open in map

Contact via email

This event is open to:
Faculty/Staff, Students


Event Details:

Digital humanities and Internet studies scholar Niels Brügger will present Digital Humanities, Web History, Web Archives, and Web Research Infrastructure — between close and distant reading, to be followed by discussion.

Lecture abstract
Digital Humanities has just recently started to pay attention to born-digital materials such as the Web. This lecture will discuss some of the fundamental challenges related to researcher use of archived Web. The point of departure is that various kinds of digital material are not digital in the same way, which a distinction between digitized, born-digital, and reborn-digital may help us acknowledge, thereby helping us to understand how each of these types of digital material affects the different phases of scholarly work.

With this as a starting point, the lecture will focus on four main clusters of challenges. First, an outline of the main characteristics of the archived Web in Web archives, and of some consequences of this for the subsequent researcher use; second, a detailed comparison of the nature of digitized collections (newspapers, radio/television) and Web archives; third, NetLab, a Danish research infrastructure for the study of archived Web is briefly introduced; and fourth, two different researcher approaches to archived Web—close and distant reading—are illustrated with two examples, an analysis of the historical development of one website (dr.dk) and of an entire national Web domain, the Danish Web domain .dk.

About Niels Brügger 
Niels Brügger is a Professor in Internet Studies and Digital Humanities at Aarhus University in Denmark, Head of the Centre for Internet Studies and of NetLab. His research interests are web historiography, web archiving, and digital humanities. Recent books include Web History (ed., Peter Lang, 2010) and Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the Web (co-ed. with M. Burns, Peter Lang 2012), and he is now editing a special issue of New Media & Society about the first 25 years of the Web's history, as well as the following forthcoming books: The Web as History: Using Web Archives to Understand the Past and the Present (co-ed. with R. Schroeder, UCL Press, 2016), Web 25: Histories from the first 25 Years of the World Wide Web (Peter Lang, 2017), and Sage Handbook of Web History (co-ed. with M. Anderson & I. Milligan, Sage, 2017).

This event is sponsored by Stanford University Libraries, Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR).

Admission Info

Free; no advance registration required.