Campaign Web Archives to Support Multi-Institutional Research

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Recognizing the at-risk nature of this content and its value to scholarship, the Stanford University Libraries (SUL) and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS) are collaborating on a project conceived by researchers in the Department of Political Science, enabled by the Archive-It web archiving service, and since joined by political science researchers at two other institutions, to create a comprehensive and longitudinal web archive collection of 2014 congressional primary and general election candidate websites.

"Material" by Andrew Wiseman under CC BY-NC 2.0
The participating researchers are Karen Jusko, Allison Anoll, and Mackenzie Israel-Trummel at Stanford University; Michael Dougal and Ryan Hübert at the University of California, Berkeley; and Mike Parkin at Oberlin College. Examples of questions to be investigated with the dataset include how the location and types of campaign stops relate to the demographics of voter turnout and how incumbent Congress members speak differently with home constituencies.

SUL is contributing web archiving expertise to the project, assisting in particular with technical challenges in collecting and faithfully re-presenting the archived web content. When the 2014 elections have concluded, the completed collection will continue to be a useful resource for future research as well as complement existing elections web archives, notably those created biannually by the Library of Congress since 2000.

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