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The web and intertextual tellings of history

October 17, 2011

While clearing out a cupboard earlier today, I came across a CD with a somewhat enigmatic and illegible title scrawled upon it. Recognising this cryptic clue as my own handiwork, I bravely stuck it in the PC to find that it contained a number of documents I thought I’d lost in a hard drive failure several years ago. In truth, most of this material was probably worth losing, but I’ve just read through one essay that I am surprisingly unembarrassed about.

It was written as part of my Digital Media MA in late 2002-2003, and accompanied a DHTML project I developed on newspaper representations of refugees. The project itself I have yet to find, but as it was in flagrant breach of a variety of copyrights I doubt I’ll be uploading it here. But the essay works fairly well on its own.

The essay is about the archival nature of the web and, in particular, whether it delivers a more intertextual telling or reading of history. At the time of writing this I would never have dreamed that I would be working in a museum within a year, so I find myself in the odd position of reading my own outsider’s view from the perspective of someone who now works within an institution that archives and digitally outputs historic data. But I still find this train of thought exciting, and in case it touches on anyone else’s research or thinking, I shall share it here:  internet_archive_v2_final.

Now I just need to work out where museums fit into all this….


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