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Web History

Brügger, Niels (ed.)

Web History

Series: Digital Formations - Volume 56

Year of Publication: 2010

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2010. X, 362 pp., num. ill.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0468-8 pb.  (Softcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-0469-5 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.520 kg, 1.146 lbs

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Book synopsis

This is the first edited volume to put the emerging field of web history on the agenda of internet research. Sixteen original chapters investigate how the use of the web has developed in the realm of web culture at large, as well as how the organization of web industries and old media institutions on the web have changed. A number of fundamental theoretical and methodological questions related to doing web history are also examined. The collection aims to explore some of the possible ways of approaching the web of the past, based on the assumption that the past is not only important for historical purposes, but because it must be taken into consideration in order to fully understand the web of the present and the web of the future. The book includes a foreword by Charles Ess and contributions from Kirsten Foot, Steven Schneider, Alexander Halavais, Ken Hillis, and more.


Contents: Charles Ess: Foreword: History - With a Future – Niels Brügger: Introduction: Web History, an Emerging Field of Study – Niels Brügger: Website History: An Analytical Grid – Kirsten Foot/Steven Schneider: Object-Oriented Web Historiography – Alexander Halavais: Evolution of U.S. White Nationalism on the Web – Albrecht Hofheinz: A History of Allah.com – Ken Hillis: Historicizing Webcam Culture: The Telefetish as Virtual Object – Dominika Szope: Self-portrayal on the Web – Megan Sapnar Ankerson: Web Industries, Economies, Aesthetics: Mapping the Look of the Web in the Dot-com Era – Tomi Lindblom: Analysing and Comparing the Histories of Web Strategies of Major Media Companies - Case Finland – Einar Thorsen: BBC News Online: A Brief History of Past and Present – Vidar Falkenberg: (R)evolution under Construction: The Dual History of Online Newspapers and Newspapers Online – Iben Bredahl Jessen: The Aesthetics of Web Advertising: Methodological Implications for the Study of Genre Development – Charles van den Heuvel: Web Archiving in Research and Historical Global Collaboratories – Brent Jesiek/Jeremy Hunsinger: Collecting and Preserving Memories from the Virginia Tech Tragedy: Realizing a Web Archive – Ida Engholm: Research-based Online Presentation of Web Design History: The Case of webmuseum.dk – Niels Brügger: Epilogue: The Future of Web History.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editor: Niels Brügger is Associate Professor at The Centre for Internet Research, Aarhus University, Denmark. His primary research interest is website history, and in 2007 he started writing a history of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s website entitled The History of dr.dk, 1996-2006. He has published a number of articles, monographs, and edited books, including Archiving Websites: General Considerations and Strategies (2005) and Media History: Theories, Methods, Analysis (ed. with S. Kolstrup, 2002).


«‘Web History’ sets out to do nothing less than historicize the web. Niels Brügger and his colleagues show us how to conceptualize web history, how institutions have shaped the web, how culture has shaped the web, and how to implement web research methods. ‘Web History’ is an unqualified success.» (David W. Park, Lake Forest College)
«Historiography is reflective scholarship, and such scholarship is dearly needed to counter the glitter and ‘gee whiz’ mentality all too often associated with new media. Web History is a welcome contribution to such reflection, a collection bringing together some of the most astute new media scholars of our time.» (Nicholas W. Jankowski, Co-editor, ‘New Media & Society’)


Digital Formations. Vol. 56
General Editor: Steve Jones