Open Call: National Forum on Ethics and Archiving the Web
Application deadline: November 14

March 22-24, 2018
New Museum

Apply now to participate or receive travel funding.

The dramatic rise in the public’s use of the web and social media to document events presents tremendous opportunities to transform the practice of social memory. As new kinds of archives emerge, there is a pressing need for dialogue about the ethical risks and opportunities that they present to both those documenting and those documented. This conversation becomes particularly important as new tools, such as Rhizome's Webrecorder software, are developed to meet the changing needs of the web archiving field. 

Ethics & Archiving the Web will address the need for a deeper understanding of the ethical implications of web archiving–on the part of professionals and web users alike. The event will bring together online communities, librarians, journalists, archivists, scholars, developers, and designers to talk about how to create richer, non-oppressive web archives—archives that will better serve their publics and the historical record.

In particular, we welcome applications for presentations, discussions, and workshops on community-driven archiving efforts, and documentation of activism; archiving trauma, violence, and human rights issues; recognizing and dismantling digital colonialism and white supremacy in web archives; strategies for protecting users (from one another, from surveillance, or from commercial interests); design-driven approaches to building more ethical web archives; and issues arising when archives become big data or are used for machine learning.

If you would like to propose a short presentation, workshop, discussion, or case study, or if you wish to attend but require funding to do so, apply by filling out this form. Limited funding is available for travel and accommodation, and presenters will receive an honorarium. Responses will be sent to all applicants by December 6, and additional tickets will go on sale shortly thereafter.

The conference will be livestreamed and made available for later viewing on the event website. Proceedings and a white paper will also be published and circulated online.


The National Forum on Ethics and Archiving the Web is organized by Rhizome, in collaboration with the University of California at Riverside Library (UCR), the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), and the Documenting the Now project (DocNow).

Organizers of the National Forum include Michael Connor, Rhizome's artistic director, Aria Dean, Rhizome's assistant curator for net art and digital culture, Bergis Jules, University & Political Papers Archivist at UC Riverside and Community Lead, DocNow, Ed Summers, Lead Developer at Maryland Institute for Technology and Technical Lead of DocNow, and Anna Perricci, partnerships manager and sustainability consultant for Webrecorder.

The Advisory Board for the National Forum includes Jefferson Bailey, Director, Web Archiving at the Internet Archive, Jarrett Drake, an advisory archivist of A People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland and Doctoral Student at Harvard University Department of Anthropology, Pamela Graham, Director of the Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research at Columbia University Libraries, Dr. Safiya Noble, author and Assistant Professor at the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication, and Stacie Williams, Team Leader, Digital Learning and Scholarship, Case Western Reserve University Library.

The National Forum on Ethics and Archiving the Web was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 


Major support for the Webrecorder project is provided by The Andrew W Mellon Foundation.