Digital Archiving: Challenges and Opportunities of Archiving Social Media Data In the Context of Crisis Events

Digital Archiving: Challenges and Opportunities of Archiving Social Media Data In the Context of Crisis Events

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June - July 2022

online / zoom

This online workshop series discussing theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of social media archiving, was designed to support an initiative of creating a Telegram archive of the war in Ukraine. The series involves scholars and practitioners who are invited to share their experiences and reflections on social media and web archives of crisis events and armed conflicts. It also creates an opportunity to discuss ethical and methodological challenges for collecting and preserving social media content during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The first presentation will discuss some of the fundamental challenges related to collecting and archiving the online activity related to an event of crisis. The presentation will start with a few theoretical considerations about events and the online media, followed by methodological and practical reflections on how to identify and collect material, and how to make it available.


  • Jeff Deutch "Archiving online evidence of human rights violations at the time of war: The case of the Syrian Archive," June 7, 14:00-16:00 CET
  • Sara Day Thomson "Responsive methods for archiving social media," June 21, 14:00-16:00 CET
  • Niels Brügger "Archiving online events: theoretical, methodological, and practical challenges," July 1, 14:00-16:00 CET

Jeff Deutch

Mnemonic / Syrian Archive

Director of Operations and Research at Mnemonic and co-founder of Syrian Archive where he develops workflows and methodologies for open-source investigations of human rights violations. Jeff has a doctorate from Humboldt University in Berlin and is a fellow and member of the steering committee at the Centre for Internet and Human Rights.

Sara Day Thomson

University of Edinburgh

Digital Archivist at the University of Edinburgh where she looks after the management and preservation of digital materials across collections. She helps coordinate the BitCurator Consortium Python Study Groups and is Co-PI on the Wellcome-funded Archive of Tomorrow web archiving project led by the National Library of Scotland. She joined the University from the Digital Preservation Coalition where she was Research Officer, supporting new research and development. At DPC, she chaired the Web Archiving & Preservation Working Group, which she still supports through the Steering Group. She is also a project manager of the Technology Watch publications and authored Technology Watch Reports ‘Preserving Social Media’ and ‘Preserving Transactional Data’.

Niels Brügger

Aarhus University

Professor in Media Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark, in the School of Communication and Culture. His research interests are web historiography, web archiving and media theory. He has authored and (co-)edited a number of publications, among others The Archived Web: Doing History in the Digital Age (MIT Press, 2018), The SAGE Handbook of Web History (Ed. with Ian Milligan, SAGE 2018), Web 25: Histories from the First 25 Years of the World Wide Web (Ed., Peter Lang Publishing 2017). He is co-founder (2017) and managing editor of the international journal Internet Histories: Digital Technology, Culture and Society (Routledge).


Mykola Makhortykh, Ani Baghumyan, Aleksandra Urman, Désirée Friederich, Taras Nazaruk, Bohdan Shumylovych

The initiative is launched by the University of Bern in cooperation with the Center for Urban History and the University of Zurich.

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Cover image: Screenshot of the Telegram app / Taras Nazaruk