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.
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.
Advisory board members are active participants in the development of DocNow. Board members were carefully chosen because of their expertise as archivists, librarians, computer scientists, historians, software developers, librarians, sociologists, and journalists, and in many cases their work has directly influenced how the DocNow project was designed. We’re extremely thankful to this group and their continued support and active involvement in the project.