Probing a Nation’s Web Domain — the Historical Development of the Danish Web

Purpose: The project aims at a) mapping the development of the Danish web domain .dk, b) developing the research infrastructure needed to conduct the study, c) become a blueprint for a European comparative study.

Expected outcomes: The outcome of the project will be: a) an analysis of the Danish web’s historical development, b) a description of the needed research infrastructure, including descriptions of the different steps of the analysis, c) an outline of how the project can be implemented in other European countries.

The aim of the project is triple. First, to map the historical development of the entire Danish web, based on the available material in the national Danish web archive Netarkivet. The main research question to be answered is: What has the entire Danish web looked like in the past, and how has it developed? A fundamental element in the mapping is to investigate the methodological questions involved in making the study, as well as to establish and continuously develop the analytical design.

Second, the aim is to develop the necessary research infrastructure to make such a study, that is tools and procedures to handle corpus creation, a variety of analyses, long term storage, documentation, workspace, and collaborative working tools. And, third, the aim is to establish a well-documented corpus of the Danish web from each year. The documentation of the creation of this corpus of the Danish web, year by year, is to be kept by Netarkivet, with a view to being used by other scholars in the future. Thus, the project has a research as well as a (double) research infrastructure dimension.

Finally, and third, in a longer perspective the project intends to be the corner stone in a European project aiming at mapping and comparing the different national web domains in Europe, possibly within the framework of RESAW, a Research Infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web, which is being established as a transnational project aiming at submtting a Horizon 2020 application.

Project team:
Niels Brügger (project responsible), Professor, Head of the Centre for Internet Studies and of NetLab/DigHumLab, Aarhus University
Janne Nielsen, Assistant Professor, NetLab/DigHumLab, Aarhus University
Ulrich Have, IT-Architect, NetLab/DigHumLab, Aarhus University
Ditte Laursen, Senior Researcher, Netarkivet/The State and University Library, Aarhus
Per Møldrup-Dalum, IT Development Consultant, The State and University Library, Aarhus

Funding: The project has been supported by The Cultural Heritage Cluster (The Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation (DeIC) and the State Library), and The Research Fund of the Ministry of Culture.