On Monday I took part in the first workshop of this innovative project, organised by the British Library. A group of scholars, including sociologists and experts in the built environment, politics and the visual arts embarked on a year-long project using the UK Web Archive as a source. Topics include sport, gender, elections and religious architecture, amongst others.

The project should provide the BL with valuable feedback on the archive itself; in addition, several of us will be helping to create new collections of previously unarchived material relating to our particular research projects. My own is on the politics of religion in Britain in the last ten years, paying particular attention to events such as reactions to the recent visit of the Pope, and to Rowan Williams’ lecture on the place of sharia law in England. I’m particularly interested in the ways in which the communication of religious ideas has been affected by the web, and by social media in particular.