On Source Study of Internet Materials: Approaches, Problems, and Prospects

Print PDF

УДК 94(47)+004.738.5:004.01

DOI 10.28995/2073-0101-2019-3-825-837

Anton V. Vsevolodov

Cherepovets State University, Cherepovets, Russian Federation

On Source Study of Internet Materials: Approaches, Problems, and Prospects


The article considers some questions of studying of the Internet materials as a group of historical sources. For their collective designation the term “network text” is used. Many authors (N. G. Georgieva, V. P. Bogdanov, E. V. Zlobin) believe that the very formulation of the question is premature: the Internet, from their point of view, is an environment that accommodates different types of sources, but does not generate such as yet; network texts in this case do not form a separate typological group, but amount to semblance (modification) of “traditional” (that is, primarily, written) sources. At the same time, today there is heard an idea that progressive digitalization of social life leads to emergence of “digital heritage” as a phenomenon, which, although open to the methods of “classical studies”, does not quite fit into the paradigm. Thus, it is more appropriate to use the concept of “potential source,” which has long been tested in our science, in relation to online texts. Qualification of network texts by the means of modern source studies theory requires a clear definition of their significant properties. It is necessary to distinguish texts that simply exist in the network from those that appear and function exclusively in the Internet space. The latter are network texts in every sense of the word. They are characterized by fundamental lack of material carrier, technological dependence, dynamic structure, polycode, dialogicity. The ultra-short life cycle of network text and its variability problematize application of basic classification categories, and yet this does not cancel, firstly, its derivability from the already existing source classifications, and secondly, the possibility of convergent development of “traditional” sources not only through adaptation to the conditions of the Internet space, but through yet deeper mediatization. As shown by the examples of the “Yandex” project “1917. Free history” and the electronic corpus of diaries “Life experience” (Prozhito), the result is not only transformation of source into content, but also appearance of qualitatively new features that provide, according to L. N. Pushkarev, adequate embodiment and expression of reality, and thus deserve separate theoretical and source analysis.


Historical source, Internet, network text, classification, dynamics, media, convergence.

Download the article: vsevolodov_doi


BAKHTIN, M. M. Sobranie sochinenii [Collected Works. In Russ.]. In 7 volumes. Vol. 5. Moscow, Russkie slovari publ., 1997, 732 p.

BOGDANOV, V. P. Ot Gerodota do Interneta: ocherki zanimatel'nogo istochnikovedeniya [From Herodotus to the Internet: essays on engaging source studies. In Russ.]. Moscow, Ves’ mir publ., 2014, 208 p.

VOLODIN, A. Yu. Otsifrovka kak elektronnoe modelirovanie: osvoenie mnogosloinosti elektronnykh formatov v istoricheskikh issledovaniyakh [Digitization as electronic modeling: Mastering multi-layer electronic formats in historical research. In Russ.]. IN: Tsifrovaya gumanitaristika: resursy, metody issledovaniya. Materialy mezhdunarodnoi nauchnoi konferentsii [Digital Humanities: Resources, research methods. Materials of the international scientific conference. In Russ.]. In 2 parts. Part 1.Perm', PGNIU publ., 2017, pp. 112–116.

GAL'PERIN, I. R. Tekst kak ob"ekt lingvisticheskogo issledovaniya. [Text as an object of linguistic research. In Russ.]. 5th ed. Moscow, KomKniga publ., 2007, 144 p.

GEORGIEVA, N. G. Istoricheskoe istochnikovedenie: teoreticheskie problemy [Historical source studies: Theoretical problems. In Russ.]. Moscow, Prospekt publ., 2016, 248 p.

ZLOBIN, E. V. O nekotorykh problemakh klassifikatsii i opisaniya elektronnykh dokumentov kak istoricheskogo istochnika [On some problems of classification and description of electronic documents as a historical source. In Russ.]. IN: Krug idei: elektronnye resursy istoricheskoi informatiki. Trudy VIII konferentsii Assotsiatsii “Istoriya i komp'yuter” [Circle of ideas: electronic resources of historical Informatics. Proceedings of the VIII conference of the Association “History and computer.” In Russ.]. Moscow, Barnaul, 2003, pp. 7–36.

KOSTENKO, E. V. Spetsificheskie cherty setevogo teksta kak osobogo vida zhurnalistskogo tvorchestva [Specific features of the network text as a peculiar kind of journalistic creativity. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik Voronezhskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya: Filologiya. Zhurnalistika [Bulletin of the Voronezh State University. Series: Philology. Journalism], 2012, no. 2, pp. 181–184.

LUKASHEVICH, A. A. Fenomen tsifrovogo naslediya kak predposylka pereosmysleniya ponyatiya “istoricheskii istochnik” [The phenomenon of digital heritage as a prerequisite for rethinking the concept of “historical source.” In Russ.]. IN: Clio, 2015, no. 10 (106), pp. 41–45.

MEL'NICHENKO, M. A. “Prozhito” ot rukopisi do korpusa: sbor, razmetka, analiz dnevnikovykh tekstov [“Life experience” from manuscript to corpus: Collection, marking, analysis of diary texts. In Russ.]. IN: Tsifrovaya gumanitaristika [Digital Humanities], 2017, part 1, pp. 134–137.

PUSHKAREV, L. N. Klassifikatsiya russkikh pis'mennykh istochnikov po otechestvennoi istorii [Classification of Russian written sources on national history. In Russ.]. Moscow, Nauka publ., 1975, 282 p.

KUZ'MINA, N. A. (ed.). Sovremennyi mediatekst: uchebnoe posobie [Contemporary media text: A study guide. In Russ.]. Omsk, 2011. 414 p.

TIKHONOV, V. V. Revolyutsiya 1917 g. v kommemorativnykh praktikakh i istoricheskoi politike sovetskoi epokhi [Revolution of 1917 in commemorative practices and historical policy of the Soviet era. In Russ.]. IN: Rossiiskaya istoriya, 2017, no. 2, pp. 92–112.

SHMIDT, S. O. O klassifikatsii istoricheskikh istochnikov [On the classification of historical sources. In Russ.]. IN: Vspomogatel'nye istoricheskie distsipliny [Auxiliary historical disciplinesIn Russ.]. Issue 16. Leningrad, Nauka publ., 1985, pp. 3–24.

About author

Vsevolodov Anton Vladimirovich, PhD in History, Cherepovets State University, researcher, Cherepovets, Russian Federation, +7-921-146-66-16, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submitted 3.11.2018, published (for citation):

VSEVOLODOV, A. V. Ob istochnikovedcheskom izuchenii internet-materialov: podkhody, problemy i perspektivy [On Source Study of Internet Materials: Approaches, Problems, and Prospects. In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik arhivista / Herald of an Archivist, 2019, no. 3, pp. 825-837. doi 10.28995/2073-0101-2019-3-825-837

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.