Emily Maemura

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Emily Maemura will be visiting NetLab February to May 2018.

Research Summary

My research examines how different types of web archives collections are made, and how new and innovative tools, training and infrastructure are being developed to support the emerging community of scholars who study the web’s history. In particular, I explore the curatorial choices that shape a collection, and how they guide subsequent use and interpretation by researchers working with archived web materials. I use a multiple case study of sites and web archives collections in Canada and Denmark, in order to explore the interactions of people and technical systems in different contexts. Taking the perspective of systems design, I aim to understand what choices are made in constructing these web archives, as well as the impact of these choices when materials are translated across different sites or used for different purposes, and how these choices are embedded or intertwined with larger infrastructural assemblages. Through this work I hope to understand the key relationships that define and capture ‘web archives provenance’. As researchers develop and adopt new computational methods for working with large-scale web archives collections, it is increasingly necessary for the design of web archiving infrastructure to support the documentation of provenance information at different stages of a collection’s development. Therefore, my ultimate goal is developing a system for description to document and communicate the complex process of creating and working with web archives materials.


Emily Maemura is a doctoral candidate in her fourth year of study at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information (iSchool). She is interested in approaches and methods for research with web archives data and research collections, and in capturing diverse perspectives of the internet as an object and/or site of study. As a Research Assistant with the Faculty’s Digital Curation Institute she has worked on the BenchmarkDP project exploring Capability Maturity Models for organizational assessment in digital preservation. She previously completed the Masters of Information at the University of Toronto, with a focus in Information Systems & Design and the Collaborative Program in Knowledge Media Design. Her background in architecture and construction management contributed to an interest in how the design of systems and infrastructure impacts user experience.