Archiving Large Swaths of User-Contributed Digital Content: Lessons from Archiving the Occupy Movement

Howard Besser
Director, Moving Image Archiving & Preservation MA Program
New York University

David Millman
Director, Digital Library Technology Services
New York University

Sharon M. Leon
Director of Public Projects, Center for History & New Media
George Mason University

Archiving born-digital content from the “Occupy” movement can serve as a prototype for archiving all kinds of user-contributed content. In this presentation, several organizations will discuss the tools and methods they have developed for ingesting, preserving, and offering discovery services to large numbers of digital works where they cannot really rely on the contributors to follow standards and metadata assignment. Topics covered will range from automatic extraction of time-stamp and location metadata (and an empirical analysis of which upload services strip these out), to app development for uploading content along with permission forms, to maintaining lists of frequently-changing URL nodes for web-crawling, to issues in educating content creators in best practices. Speakers will also discuss issues in trying to document a social movement while it is happening.



Presentation (Besser PPT)
Presentation (Millman PPT)
 (Leon PDF)
Presentation (Hanna PPTX)


  1. [...] Monday, April 2nd, Howard Besser gave the enlightening presentation “Archiving Large Swaths of User-Contributed Digital Content: Lessons from Archiving the Occupy Moveme…”. On this conference, the New York-based archivist outlines some of the major challenges of [...]

  2. [...] Archivists have collaborated with the Occupy Wall Street movement to hold a presentation about the OWS Archives Working Group and the challenges they have already experienced and will face with regards to preserving and [...]

Last updated:  Tuesday, March 12th, 2013