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Blogging and Microblogging: Archiving and Preserving Non-Official Voices in China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Introduction

This project is a joint effort and collaborations by John Hopkins University libraries, the George Washington University libraries, and Georgetown University libraries. It is funded by a Mellon innovation grant administrated by the Council on East Asian Libraries to use and adapt web archiving tools - Social Feed Manager  and Archive It to build two collections of Microblogs (Sino Weibo) and blogs respectively. The content is focused on reaction to and commentary about the current Chinese government's anti-corruption campaign from within China. 

For this project, we focus on China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign. Even though fighting corruption has been a perennial theme throughout Chinese history, the Anti-Corruption Campaign launched by the Chinese President Xi Jinping right after he was named General Secretary of the CPC in November 2012 has evolved into a major political movement and has generated great interest from scholars both inside and outside China. More significantly, social media has played a crucial role in the ongoing campaign.

Our project has archives both the government’s accounts and private accounts on anti-corruption campaign with the concern that some social media contents might forever get “lost” due to government censorship and the passage of time. Despite its clear historical and scholarly importance, archiving social media has remained a major challenge for librarians and archivists worldwide. 

The Weibo collection continues to consist of two components:  the generalized sample of all content on Weibo, and the Anti-Corruption-focused collection using the Social Feed Managert.  The Weibo sample collection continues to add millions of Weibo posts per day.  As of February 7, 2017, the Social Feed Manager Weibo harvester has archived approximately 52,000 Weibo posts and 299,000 web resources referenced in the Weibo posts. Johns Hopkins University libraries' Archive It account has captured 1,170 blog entries as of February 7, 2017, which already surpasses our initial goal of 1,000 entries. All of the entries in the collection have been enhanced with metadata that allows for searching and sorting. They also include subject lists and English translations of blog entry titles. The number of entries is still growing.

Contact Information

If you need any assistance for understanding and using this Weibo archive, please contact:

Cathy Zeljak, Director of Global Resources Center at George Washington University Libraries. Email: czeljak@gwu.edu 

​Yan He, China Studies Librarian at George Washington University Libraries. Email: hey@gwu.edu

Yunshan Ye, East Asian Librarian at Johns Hopkins University Libraries. Email: yye@jhu.edu  

Ding Ye, Asian Studies and Linguistics Librarian at Georgetown University Libraries. Email: dy33@georgetown.edu

 

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