Students: Genevieve Milliken and Safiye Senturk

Course Title: LIS 698

Instructor – Section 01 : Dr. Tula Giannini

Instructor – Section 02: Dr. Cristina Pattuelli

Site Supervisor’s Name and Title:

Sumitra Duncan, Web Archiving, Head, Frick Art Reference Library

Project Title: Engaging the Web Archives


Project Abstract:

This project examines the ways in which web archives can be a useful tool for researchers, and the general public. Its goal is to highlight the value of using web archive collections generated by tools like Archive-It as a source for scholarly inquiry. In contrast to the bigger and broader Internet Archive, the collections created in Archive-It are often generated by cultural heritage institutions, academic libraries, and consortia as a means of harvesting specific, curated material from the web. This is true for the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) which creates specialized collections based on several factors, including importance, interest, value, and the need for immediate preservation. NYARC’s collections include: Art Resources, Artists’ Websites, Auction Houses, Catalogue Raisonnes, New York City Galleries, Restitution of Lost or Looted Art,  NYARC, the Brooklyn Museum, the Frick Collection, and MoMA. Each of these has the potential to provide scholars with rich amounts of data. In order to understand how a researcher might use the NYARC collections, the Fellows undertook a literature review of how scholars are currently engaging with web archives as part of their workflow. The overall rationale for this review was to identify and understand who would use a web archive for research, the common problems they are likely to encounter, and what are best practices for using these resources most effectively. The Fellows selected specific parts of the NYARC collection for initial analysis. From this, they created data sets from the NYC Galleries collection and data generated by Archives Unleashed to make a series of visualizations. Finally, they identify potential next steps for using the NYARC collections as starting points for research and end by posing potential routes for further investigation.