Recently, scholarly works started to turn their interest to the epistemological and methodological challenges that research with new digital tools and technologies do pose. In this article, we would like to contribute to this methodological discussion and to shed light on the role of digital tools for media studies, by taking the tool AVResearcherXL as case in point. AVResearcherXL is a new exploratory tool for media studies research, enabling users to search across, compare and visualize both the metadata of Dutch public television and radio programmes, and a selection of Dutch newspaper articles of the Dutch Royal Library. By tracing the word ‘television’ with the use of the tool, we provide a practical use case of doing media archaeology with digital tools for media archives. Our deconstruction shows the importance of a media archaeological approach to look into the materiality of digital technology as well as the relevance of studying the deep material structure of media technology. AVResearcherXL thus could be seen as an archaeological site in which the user or ‘archaeologist’ decides where to dig and which search lights to use. Using AVResearcherXL to do media (historical) research is not about finding the ‘right’ answers, but about contextualising results, and about finding new, sometimes unexpected, pathways and questions.

digital humanities, methodology, digital tools, television archives, newspapers
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 4, No 7 (2015); 38-53

Van Gorp, Jasmijn, de Leeuw, Sonja, van Wees, Justin, & Huurnink, Bouke. (2015). Digital Media Archaeology: Digging into the Digital Tool AVResearcherXL. VIEW Journal, 4(7), 38–53. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2015.jethc080