Bethany Aylward


Information School

PhD researcher

Full contact details

Bethany Aylward
Information School
Regent Court (IS)
211 Portobello
S1 4DP

I graduated with an MA in Librarianship from the University of Sheffield in 2018 and a BA in Russian and History from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies UCL in 2014. I am on the organising committee of the Sheffield Feminist Archive as well as a trustee of the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies a library, archive and cultural heritage charity in London.

PhD project

Title: "Capturing social movements: Web archiving needs of activist collections in 'The North"

My research focuses on the intersection of community archiving and social justice movements in contemporary protest culture. The interconnectedness of these movements' development in the context of technological advancement, has not been fully examined by archival literature.

This project will contribute to our understanding of the role activism plays in creating, sustaining, and using independent archives in the twenty-first century. The use of digital platforms within the life cycle of social movements highlights a tangible need for archives that interact with activism to consider web archiving strategies if they are to continue preserving participation in significant causes of our time.

My fieldwork explored the activist-archival landscape of post-industrial cities in England and Scotland; their current web archiving capabilities; and their hopes and fears for the future in terms of capturing content and how it will be used.


Research interests
  • Community archiving
  • Information activism
  • Digital advocacy
  • Critical archive studies
  • Liberatory research

I am the recipient of a three-year University Research Resource Council Scholarship awarded by the Information School, University of Sheffield

Teaching activities

I contribute to the following modules:

  • INF109 - Digital Media and Society
  • INF6103 - Information Organisation
  • INF6400 - Information Systems and the Information Society
  • INF6840 - Archives and Records Management
Professional activities and memberships

Member of Association of Internet Researchers.

Events and conference presentations

ENQUIRE Conference Nottingham 2021- presentation; Alternative Futures & Positive Protest Conference Manchester 2021 - paper presentation; Web Archiving Conference Luxembourg 2021- poster presentation *all online*