Follow the updates! Recon­struc­ting Past Prac­ti­ces with Web Archive Data (2024)

Peer reviewed / Buchveröffentlichung


The article argues that data from web archives can help to reconstruct past practices: Drawing on the example of practices of online commenting, it shows that even though practices themselves are not archivable, artifacts with specific relations to these practices remain. Identifying relevant updates of these artifacts, following them beyond the archive and making them non-human research participants in a technographic sense, allows us to not only decentre web archives as dominant data source, but also to benefit from their richness as archives of artifacts. We situate this potential in a larger context of practice theory and explain our own approach of using web archive data, combining them with interviews and developing software to triangulate both with one another.


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Paßmann, Johannes and Lisa Gerzen (2024): “Follow the updates! Reconstructing past practices with web archive data”, in: Internet Histories. DOI:

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Presentation at the AoIR2023 Conference, Philadelphia (PA), by Johannes Paßmann, Lisa Gerzen and Martina Schories

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