Special Issue "Born Digital Cultural Histories"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Arts and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Melanie Swalwell

Associate Professor, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100 Adelaide SA 5001, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: digital media, with particular attention to media arts and digital games, as well as the intersections of these

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Journal articles are invited for a Special Issue of the open access journal Arts, on digital cultural heritage.

Whilst many artefacts today are produced, distributed and consumed solely in digital form, this situation is not completely new. Artefacts from previous eras have also been ‘born’ digital. The advent of micro- or home computers in the mid-1970s and 1980s, for instance, saw a range of digital artefacts produced, amongst them digital games, demos, a range of experimental art, and other early software. These objects are complex and interesting as are the preservation challenges they pose. While issues of hardware and software deterioration are arguably becoming better understood, the earliness with which decisions about significance and preservation strategies must be arrived at marks these artefacts out as different from other forms of cultural heritage.

Paper might address topics including, but not limited to:

  • Continuities and discontinuities between contemporary and historical digital culture
  • Histories of the digital everyday
  • Artists as archivists
  • Institutional responses to digital cultural heritage
  • Changing notions of the collection
  • Jurisdictions, overlaps, gaps
  • Resourcing, funding, partnerships
  • Relation of born digital preservation to digitisation programs
  • Permanence and entropy
  • Inter-agency cooperation, federations and networks
  • Models of collaboration, outside experts, volunteers
  • Access and exhibition
  • Legal issues, intellectual property, orphaned works, legal deposit
  • Workforce, capacity building, training
  • New preservation and conservation techniques
  • Case studies, including: architecture, broadcasting, apps, mobile and multiplayer games, demoscenes, net and media art
  • Preserving algorithmic culture

Proposals might be theoretical, applied, policy, or otherwise oriented. Case studies of innovative practices, papers based on research with born digital artefacts, and new institutional approaches are equally welcome.

Articles must be original, not under consideration elsewhere, and should make new contributions to knowledge.

All articles in the issue will undergo double blind peer review.

Dr. Melanie Swalwell
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • born digital
  • heritage
  • digital preservation
  • archives
  • computer history
  • digital culture

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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