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Archives, Activism and Social Media

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G06/07 Faculty of English, Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge

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Archives, Activism and Social Media
Building networks for effective collaboration and ethical practice

A workshop at the University of Cambridge, supported by the AHRC and organised by the Cambridge Digital Humanities Network in collaboration with Documenting the Now project.

What does it mean for the practice of archiving when so much of the communications within, and around social movements takes place in social media and on the Web? What are the different and shared challenges faced by activists, archivists and researchers wanting to use social media and born-digital material to document social movements? Can we learn from looking at the experience of archiving social movements of the past in order to decide what to preserve from the born-digital data of the present? What are the issues of representation, access and power that impact archival work in the social media age? Can we develop more effective modes of collaboration and ethical practice among activists, archivists and academics to address these challenges?

The two day event will create a space for conversations between activists, archivists and researchers with the aim of:

- Building communities of practice around ethical and technical challenges in archiving born-digital social movement data.

- Sharing awareness of how to use specific methodologies, tools and services for producing and using archives of born digital activist material.

- Fostering cross-cultural dialogue by bringing activists and archivists from different regions of the world together for in person conversation and network building.

The event will be free of charge, but spaces are limited and must be booked in advance.

The full programme is now available online here:

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available on the first day, and a sandwich lunch and coffee on the second day. Please help us cater accurately and cancel your ticket if you book and can no longer attend.

Speakers include:

  • Kira Allmann (University of Oxford)
  • Elena Carter (Tavistock Institute of Human Relations Archivist, Wellcome Library)
  • Jeff Deutch (The Syrian Archive)
  • Andrew Flinn (University College London)
  • Anisa Hawes (Victoria and Albert Museum)
  • Phil Hedges (Independent researcher)
  • Nicky Hilton (Bishopsgate Institute)
  • Alex Hopkins (
  • Bergis Jules (University & Political Papers Archivist, University of California Riverside, Documenting the Now)
  • Vernon Mitchell Jr (Curator of Popular American Arts, Washington University in St Louis and Documenting the Now)
  • Sue Pell (Richmond, The American International University in London)
  • Ed Summers (Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, Documenting the Now)

For more information about the event, please contact Dr Anne Alexander (, Cambridge Digital Humanities Network.

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G06/07 Faculty of English, Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge

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