- Archaeology of the Amsterdam digital city; why digital data are dynamic and should be treated accordingly
- Internet Histories: Digital Technology, Culture and Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 1-2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI)
One of the major initiatives in The Netherlands promoting the use of the Internet by private individuals was De Digitale Stad (DDS), which is the Amsterdam digital city. DDS was launched in January 1994 and soon evolved from an elementary bulletin-board-like system to a full blown virtual city with squares, houses, post-offices, cafés and a metro. Archaeology of the digital city makes it clear that there is no beaten track for preserving and, after two decades, unwrapping “born digital” material. During the research to reconstruct the digital city two routes were tried, one emulating the old system, another replicating it. The outcome, together with the harvest of two working systems, is a lesson, a concern and an appeal. From the experience of reconstructing digital heritage, we draw pragmatic lessons. Tools for digital archaeology are tried and contemplated. The lessons, however, do not unequivocally support the use of the notion “archaeology.” The concern is one of the social responsibilities. Web archaeology, being part of contemporary history, confronts the researcher with such issues as privacy and the ethics of “young” data. A case is made for treating digital data dynamically.
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