Toronto Datathon

Toronto Skyline


The World Wide Web has a profound impact on how we research and understand the past. The sheer amount of cultural information that is generated and, crucially, preserved every day in electronic form, presents exciting new opportunities for researchers. Much of this information is captured within web archives.

Web archives often contain hundreds of billions of web pages, ranging from individual homepages and social media posts, to institutional websites. These archives offer tremendous potential for social scientists and humanists, and the questions research may pose stretch across a multitude of fields. Scholars broaching topics dating back to the mid-1990s will find their projects enhanced by web data. Moreover, scholars hoping to study the evolution of cultural and societal phenomena will find a treasure trove of data in web archives. In short, web archives offer the ability to reconstruct large-scale traces of the relatively recent past.

With the latest release of the Archives Unleashed Toolkit (AUT), the project team will be hosting a series of four datathons for archivists, researchers, librarians, computer scientists, and others to collaboratively work with web collections and explore cutting-edge research tools through hands on experience.

The Archives Unleashed Project is pleased to announce the first datathon will take place at the University of Toronto Robarts Library, 26-27 April 2018.

This event will bring together a small group of approximately 15 participants to experiment with the newest release of AUT (Archives Unleashed Toolkit) and the Archives Unleashed Cloud, and to kick-off collaboratively inspired research projects. Participants will have access to analytics software and specialists, and will be exposed to the process of working with web archive files at scale. For more information on AUT and the Cloud, please visit

Check to see when Archives Unleashed will be near you…

Date Location
April 26-27, 2018 Toronto, ON
Late October 2018 Canada West Coast
May 2019 United States East Coast
November 2019 United States West Coast

Travel Grants

This event is possible thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of Toronto Libraries , the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Arts, York University Libraries, Compute Canada, and Start Smart Labs. The Archives Unleashed team is pleased to offer modest travel grants to help attendees participate in this event. These grants can cover up to $1,000 CAD in travel expenses. If you require financial assistance to attend the event, please indicate in your statement of interest that you would like to be considered for the travel grant.


  • Ian Milligan (University of Waterloo)
  • Nicholas Worby (University of Toronto)
  • Nick Ruest (York University)
  • Jimmy Lin (University of Waterloo)


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Those interested in participating should submit the following to the Archives Unleashed Team by midnight (EST) on 5 February 2018

  • a 250-word expression of interest;
  • a short one-page CV; and
  • indication of need for financial assistance to travel to event (if applicable)

This expression of interest should address your background and interests in web archiving, and what you would hope to get out of working with tools and web archive data at scale.

Important Dates

December 11, 2017 Call for Participation
January 15, 2018 Second Call for Participation
February 5, 2018 Submissions Due
February 19 Participants Notified


University of Toronto,
Robarts Library,
Blackburn Room (4036)

Blackburn Room