A case for digital squirrels: Using and preserving YouTube for popular culture research

Lindsay Kistler Mattock, Colleen Theisen, Jennifer Burek Pierce


YouTube users around the globe upload 400 hours of content every 60 seconds, a quantity that leads to descriptions of the platform as “the world’s largest archive of moving images.” We look at how the myth of YouTube as an archive arises and evaluate sources that show its shortcomings in this respect. These discussions ground our recommendations for developing new practices for archiving YouTube content to support scholarly research, a recommendation that starts with a squirrel.


YouTube; preservation; archives; digital scholarship; Web 2.0

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i1.8163

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