Bethany Aylward

Location: Information School, Regent Court


First year PhD student with an MA in Librarianship from the University of Sheffield (2018) and BA in Russian and History from University College London (2014).

PhD title

The web archiving needs of activist collections in South Yorkshire and beyond


Andrew Cox, Jorge Martins

Project description

I am exploring the relationship between the community archiving trend and New Social Movements in the digital era. Roots of both phenomena can be traced to the 1960s, yet the interconnectedness of their development, particularly since the advent of the digital age, has not been fully examined by archival literature. My research aims to understand the role activism plays in creating, sustaining and using independent archives in the twenty-first century. The migration of coordinated action to digital platforms highlights a tangible need for archives that interact with activism to embark on web-archiving initiatives, if they are to continue preserving participation in significant causes of our time. My field-work will investigate the activist-archival landscape in South Yorkshire and surrounding areas; their current web-archiving capabilities; and their hopes for the future in terms of capturing content and how it will be used.

Research interests

Community archives, radical librarianship, digital advocacy.

Funding and awards

I have a scholarship from the Research Resource Council.