Storify and Data Preservation


Unfortunately, Storify recently announced that they will be closing and deleting all their online content in May 2018. Ian Milligan wrote a great post about Storify’s end, titled “The Death of Storify, Difficult Alternatives, and the Need to Steward Our Data Responsibly.” The end of Storify isn’t just the end of a web service, rather, it highlights how we just took for granted that Storify was allowing us to archive conversations, conferences, lectures, keynote speeches, and discussions via hashtags. Unfortunately, as Mulligan points out, we really weren’t preserving the content; he writes:

The first hot take is that it underscores how when we spoke about “archiving” a hashtag on Storify, we weren’t really doing anything resembling that term. We were temporarily parking it on a free site until it inevitably closed.

Milligan goes on to parse out current options (embedding tweets and saving raw Tweet data) and their downfalls, as well as to point out questions that we need to start considering:

But if we truly care about data–from the social media logs of a conference, to the records of a federal election–we need to treat it with respect. And that means turning to people who are trained in this.

He does a great job of pointing out archiving concerns in the digital age. I don’t intend my post to repeat his insights, so please make sure to head to Milligan’s post for the full read. Instead, I’m just here to note that for the time being, I’ve decided to export our Storify data before it’s too late. I’ve saved them as PDFs and will add links to the PDFs on the original blog posts and link them below. That’s just a bandaid fix for now, but it does prompt us to think about data migration, platforms, sustainable archivization methods, and more.

Storify PDFs

Keynote by Dr. Carolina Villarroel at the Real History of the Americas

Recovering US Hispanic Heritage and the US West

THATCamp Clear Lake

Incubator: Transcribing Multilingual Documents in the Digital Age

Incubator: Decolonizing Digital Humanities

Works cited

Milligan, Ian. “The Death of Storify, Difficult Alternatives, and the Need to Steward Our Data Responsibly.” Blog. Ian Milligan. WordPress. 13 Dec. 2017. Accessed 14 Dec. 2017.

Lorena Gauthereau is a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage at the University of Houston. Find her online at


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