Blog Post

The Facebook Profile Picture Archive


A second year MIS student at Indiana University with a PhD in early modern literature from the University of California-Santa Barbara, I have been involved in DH since the early 2000s, but primarily focused on the seventeenth century. As I pursue my own project this year, I have decide to move squarely into the here and now. I wanted to make a collection of born-digital object to investigate the ways these materials both differ from and remain the same as digital libraries of objects that have physical referents. 

Enter Facebook.  A ubiquitous part of many of our lives, we all have profile pictures next to every entry, share, and comment we make. Thus, I have decided to start the Facebook Profile Picture Archive. In the first stage participants (including you!) will upload their profile pictures and give background information about the images.  The collection will be sortable by age, sex, and location as well as other metadata that may emerge as I classify photos, and I hope to be able to tease out some strands that bind us to our online simulacra in addition to providing a resource for anyone interested in social media and its manipulations.

ETA: The survey is now live if you would like to participate!


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