Project: re:DDS, a case study of webarcheology
Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, Soros Auditorium
De Digitale Stad (DDS, the Digital City) was one of the first online community networks that operated on an European scale. The community was launched in 1994 in Amsterdam. DDS was inspired by the Community Networks movement in the US and Canada. DDS has attracted international interest for the design it had chosen: it used the metaphor of a city to structure cyberspace and made the users into ‘inhabitants’. In 2001 the DDS was taken offline. The project re:DDS is an attempt to reconstruct the DDS, a virtual Atlantis. Our digital heritage is getting lost and we need to act now. For that we develop a methodology to safeguard and preserve our born-digital material.
Goals of the project re:DDS:
- To preserve the internet-historical monument DDS.
- To map the history of the DDS, internet and e-culture in Amsterdam.
- A pilot for webarcheology: how to reconstruct, preserve and retrieve the virtual city DDS (DDS is born-digital) and make it accessible to the public, on a scientific and social level.
Besides the traditional research techniques (literature, archives and interviews) we practice webarcheology, ‘Information Research & Data Recovery’. WebArcheology is an interdisciplinairy discipline, we learn, digg and combine Data Recovery, Digital Forensics, e-Discovery, Programming tools, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): virtual machines, WebArcheology: restauration, points-in-time (4D collection), Webharvesting and Webarchiving.
Stages of our project:
1. Launch of re:DDS.nl, a virtual museum and open history laboratorium: http://re-dds.nl/
2. The Grave Diggers Party: Bring Out Your Hardware & (raw) data
3. Rise of the Zombies: Finding Lost Bytes: crowdsourcing (technological & social)
4. Flight of the Zombies: DDS in ‘multiple points of times’ (emulators)
5. Enlightenment: Let the Bytes Free!
Tjarda de Haan studied contemporary history in Amsterdam and Berlin. Then worked for several new media companies, including De Digitale Stad (the Digital City; DDS). Now she combines her passions history and new media, working as a guest e-curator and web-archeologist of the Amsterdam Museum.
Paul Vogel has been a senior Unix engineer for many years for several companies, including DDS.