Community management, Concept, Content, Presentation, Project management, Publication, Strategy
On 15 January 1994 De Digitale Stad (DDS; The Digital City) opened its virtual gates. DDS, the first virtual city worldwide, made the internet (free) accessible for the first time to the general public in the Netherlands. In 2001 The Digital City, the website, was taken offline. Our digital heritage, and especially the digital memory of the early web, is at risk of being lost. Or worse already gone. In the case study of web archaeology we will answer the questions: how to excavate, reconstruct, preserve and sustainably store born-digital heritage (DDS) and make it accessible to future generations?
- Our project has won the Digital Preservation Awards Safeguarding the Digital Legacy Category!
- Read about our project ‘The Digital City revives: A case study of web archaeology’
- Help, our digital heritage is getting lost! Bits and Bytes United was asked by the Amsterdam Museum in 2010 to think about telling the story of Amsterdam in digital heritage. Outcome: we started the project to safeguard De Digitale Stad (DDS; The Digital City), an unique internet monument.
- Amsterdam Museum
- Waag Society
- University of Amsterdam
- Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision
- National Coalition on Digital Preservation
Main aims and objectives:
- Reconstruct and preserve DDS.
- Provide insight into the (existing and new) processes, techniques and methods for born-digital material and the context in which they are found, to excavate and reconstruct.
- Ask attention to the danger of ‘digital amnesia’.
- To provide museums and organizations with specialized knowledge about the reconstruction of born-digital heritage and lower the threshold for future web archaeological projects. Disseminating knowledge about new standards for archives on the storage of digital-born heritage in ‘The 23 Things of Web Archaeology’ and a ‘DIY Handbook of Web Archaeology’.
- Make DDS data ‘future-proof’.
Project sites of the Amsterdam Museum:
- Do It Yourself Handboek voor Webarcheologie (Dutch) (November 2017).
- FREEZE! A manifesto for safeguarding and preserving born-digital heritage (English) (November 2017).
- Project “The Digital City Revives. A Case Study of Web Archaeology” in: Proceedings of iPRES2016, 13th International Conference on Digital Preservation (July 2016).
- The reconstruction of The Digital City, a case study of web archaeology in: “Acoustic Space 14: Data Drift. Archiving Media and Data Art in the 21st Century” (October 2015).
Webinar of the Digital Preservation Coalition:
- ‘The Digital City Revives’ with Tjarda de Haan (18th January 2017). Tjarda de Haan, web archaeologist and guest e-curator at the Amsterdam Museum, shares her experiences with the ‘excavation’ of The Digital City: one of the first online community networks that operated on an European scale. The Digital City (De Digitale Stad, DDS) was launched in 1994 in Amsterdam and was taken offline in 2001. DDS was inspired by the Community Networks movement in the US and Canada and functioned as a Free-Net in the Netherlands. The project re:DDS is an attempt to reconstruct the virtual city in order to preserve the history of e-culture in Amsterdam.
- Listen to the radio interview with the host Herbert Blankesteijn with Marc Went and Tjarda de Haan: Uitzending Gemist van BNR (Dutch) (6 July 2016)
- See the great presentations of the students informatica (UvA/VU, Master of Science Computer Sciences): ‘DDS Gekraakt’ (June 2016)
- Brewster Kahle (Internet Archive) has given all support, watch the video:
- DDS has been included in the permanent collection. The audience can see our first web archaeological excavations (the DDS ‘avatars’) and ‘experience’ DDS in the Amsterdam Museum by taking place behind an original DDS public terminal and watch television clips from 1994 about DDS. In the nearby future we aim that, people can interact with our lost and found born-digital heritage, the replica of DDS, and take a walk through the historical digital city. Photo: Amsterdam Museum, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Want to know more? Get in touch with Bits and Bytes United and let’s have coffee!