Loughborough University
Hauswedell2020_Article_OfGlobalReachYetOfSituatedCont.pdf (674.82 kB)

Of global reach yet of situated contexts: an examination of the implicit and explicit selection criteria that shape digital archives of historical newspapers

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-01-13, 13:27 authored by Tessa Hauswedell, Julianne Nyhan, Melodee BealsMelodee Beals, Melissa Terras, Emily Bell
A large literature addresses the processes, circumstances and motivations that have given rise to archives. These questions are increasingly being asked of digital archives, too. Here, we examine the complex interplay of institutional, intellectual, economic, technical, practical and social factors that have shaped decisions about the inclusion and exclusion of digitised newspapers in and from online archives. We do so by undertaking and analysing a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with public and private providers of major newspaper digitisation programmes. Our findings contribute to emerging understandings of factors that are rarely foregrounded or highlighted yet fundamentally shape the depth and scope of digital cultural heritage archives and thus the questions that can be asked of them, now and in the future. Moreover, we draw attention to providers’ emphasis on meeting the needs of their end-users and how this is shaping the form and function of digital archives. The end user is not often emphasised in the wider literature on archival studies and we thus draw attention to the potential merit of this vector in future studies of digital archives.


Oceanic Exchanges Project: Tracing Global Information Networks in Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840-1914

ESRC and AHRC (Grant reference: ES/R004110/1

Transatlantic Partnership for Social Sciences and Humanities 2016 Digging Into Data Challenge’



  • Social Sciences


  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Archival Science




139 - 165


Springer (part of Springer Nature)


  • VoR (Version of Record)

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© The Authors

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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Dr Emily Bell Deposit date: 10 January 2020