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Project meeting, 26 February 2014, minutes

Project meeting

Jonathan Blaney [minutes] (JB), Niels Brugger (NB), Josh Cowls (JC), Helen Hockx-Yu (HHY), Eric Meyer (EM), Ralph Schroeder (RS), Peter Webster (PW), Jane Winters (JW)

1 Minutes of the previous meeting.

Accepted as a correct record.

2 Matters arising

All action points from the previous meeting were completed.

3 Advisory board membership

Four invitees have accepted and three are still to reply. It was agreed that six members would be enough.

4 Institutional updates

4.1 OII

The OII has been working on an overview of the dataset. Many more questions can be asked of this dataset. It’s also a useful start on mapping the web domain and getting a sense of what it is and the relationships between the sub-domains. The OII will need contributions for the monograph, but this could take a number of different forms. The group discussed whether the monograph will be UK specific or if it will be broader than that. It was emphasised that this is not a book about web archives but about the last 20 years as reflected on the web; the group favours time-dependent topics rather than snapshots because this hasn’t been covered much and also gives potentially a broader audience. The proposal needs to be done as quickly as possible, even if all details are not fully worked out, because of the publishing lead times; the funding application makes it clear that the book will not be published within the timeframe of the project.

A book published by Routledge on internet histories is coming out soon; the Routledge book is internet not web only. A publisher may help guide the focus of the book. It was agreed that as long as there’s a significant part of material on the UK, then there can be international material too. There will be some firsts with the book: a national focus and an arts and humanities focus. It was agreed that the reflections should spring from the results of the research: we want to have the methods flowing from the data. A series of exemplars of what can be done would be useful for the AHRC. A first national web domain history is a selling point for a publisher. More general discussions would make it even more interesting for international readers. The book might even conclude that it’s too arbitrary to treat the topic with a national domain focus.

4.2 BL

The BL expects to have someone in place for the developer role by 1 April.

The end of May is the target for complete re-indexing. The group discussed the possibility of getting rid of the browse function altogether and agreed to bear that in mind.

4.3 IHR

IHR staff have mostly been spending time on the workshop: 48 people are due to attend but some may drop out. There have been 400 page views on the bursary section.

5 Communication

The AHRC announced the funding and the School of Advanced Study put out a press release. One of the other funded projects is a prosopography project (JW is Co-I) and it was agreed that it would be very useful to see if there are opportunities for synergy there, perhaps around identification of individuals on the web.

It was agreed that the project blog would be stronger if posts focused not just on the project but on web archiving in general, making it more useful to potential readers.

6 Conference attendance

The group discussed various potential conferences at which the project could be presented. It was also agreed that panel sessions would be particularly desirable

7 December workshop

A date of 3 and 4 December 2014 was agreed for the workshop.

The group agreed that successful bursary applicants should give a draft version of their papers at the December workshop and have a final version finished, taking in comments made at the workshop, in February.