Country report: web and social media archiving in Belgium
Media and communications
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The intention of this country report is to present a non-exhaustive overview of Belgian institutions that include archived social media material in their collections. This report is based on a previous report that was drafted in the context of the PROMISE project in 2019 in which the following Belgian web archiving initiatives were presented: Felixarchief, meemoo (formerly VIAA), University Library Ghent, Liberaal Archief, Amsab-ISG, ADVN, Letterenhuis, KADOC, Vlaams Architectuurarchief Vlaanderen, Archief Gent and Université Catholique de Louvain. These institutions were asked to participate in the BESOCIAL survey to update the information related to web archiving and provide information about social media archiving at their institution. This report provides more information about the institutions who responded to the survey. In addition, other Belgian organisations were added to the overview to report on their approach to social media archiving. The following initiatives answered the survey: Archives of the University of Antwerp, Ghent University Library, LIBERAS, AMSAB - Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, ADVN | archief voor nationale bewegingen, Letterenhuis, KADOC - Documentation and research center on religion, culture and society. Given the discovery of other social media archives after the closing of the survey, further information was obtained through semi-structured interviews (Archives of the City of Mons) or was obtained by email (Archives of the City of Brussels, CAVA, AMVB | archief en museum voor het Vlaamse leven in Brussel, Archives et Musée de la Littérature, LIBIS, and Instituut voor Media Studies (KU Leuven). Additionally, information about the research projects ‘Catching the Digital Heritage’, ‘Best Practices voor sociale media archivering in Vlaanderen en Brussel’, and ‘Archives de Quarantaine Archief’ has also been included as a large number of Flemish, Brussels and Walloon institutions are involved in these projects. In this report, the first section will focus on the methodological approach. In the second section, the three research projects will be briefly discussed. Then, in the third section, the institutions that provided information about their social media activities will be discussed from different perspectives: technical, selection, access, preservation, and legal. The final part of the report is the conclusion.