Documenting the Now responds to the public's use of social media for chronicling historically significant events as well as demand from scholars, students, and archivists, among others, seeking a user-friendly means of collecting and preserving this type of digital content. Documenting the Now has a strong commitment to prioritizing ethical practices when working with social media content, especially in terms of collection and long-term preservation. This commitment extends to Twitter's notion of honoring user intent and the rights of content creators. The project is a collaborative effort between Shift Design, Inc., the University of Maryland, and the University of Virginia. We are extremely grateful for funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
We are building a variety of tools to help archivists, activists and researchers work with social media data. Some of these require tech know-how to get running, so please reach out to us on Slack if you are interested in using them, but not sure where to begin. We also publish Design Documents for guiding our development, and would welcome your feedback.
As of 2019, Documenting the Now is partnering with activist groups across the United States to run co-learning workshops. Activists share their work, process, and archival needs, the DocNow Workshop Team shares tools and techniques, and together we imagine and build towards better activist community archives. We will add more information on these workshops soon.
Thank you to our former team members: Vernon Mitchell (Administrative Lead 2017), Chris Freeland (Administrative Lead 2016), Timothy Cole (Project Manager 2017), Desiree Smith-Jones (Project Manager 2016), and Dan Chudnov (Data Engineer 2016-2017).
Building a community of practice around social media and Web archiving is one of the most significant aspects to the work we are doing in the Documenting the Now project. Mellon has generously funded us to hold two face-to-face meetings, one in 2016 and another in 2017. These meetings allow us to bring our advisory board together and incorporate live streaming to engage with a larger audience.