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ARCOMEM: memory institutions in the e-Social age

ARCOMEM is a new €8 million EU R&D project about memory institutions like archives, museums and libraries in the age of the social web.

The GATE team provides both the administrative coordination function for the project and also a core research component relating to the social web, opinion and sentiment mining, and semantic annotation.

Memory institutions are more important now than ever: as we face greater economic and environmental challenges we need our understanding of the past to help us navigate to a sustainable future. This is a core function of democracies, but this function faces stiff new challenges in face of the social web, and of the radical changes in information creation, communication and citizen involvement that currently characterise our information society.

For example:

Social media are becoming more and more pervasive in all areas of life. In the UK, for example, it is now not unknown for a government minister to answer a parliamentary question using Twitter, and this material is both ephemeral and highly contextualised, making it increasingly difficult for a political archivist to decide what to preserve. This new world may weaken the power and relevance of our memory institutions.

To answer these challenges, ARCOMEM's aim is to:

To do this we will provide tools for archivists, curators and librarians to help exploit the new media and make our organisational memories richer and more relevant. We will do this in three ways:

The results of this acvitity will include:

The impact of these outcomes will be to:

In this way we hope to strengthen our democracies' understanding of the past, in order to better direct our present towards viable and sustainable modes of living, and thus to make a contribution to the future of Europe and beyond.

More information: