Surprising sources

BLW Pillar boxes at BPMA by Mike Peel, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

A "Tensions of Europe" (ToE) remote conference.

Do the historians gathered in the Tensions of Europe network have a particular relationship to archives, to sources, and to their research materials? What does being a historian of technologies, infrastructures, or networks imply, and is there a singularity regarding sources and archives? It is this relationship to the archives, to the sources, to the historical material at large, to the spatialities, and materialities as well, that this conference invites us to question.

The issue of “Surprising Sources” can be understood in two ways: first by reflecting on a source that is surprising in its form (use of a series of stamps, unpublished data, a natively digital archive, material traces like abandoned factory, pipes, etc.), and second by presenting a source that is surprising in its content, such as an unexpected discovery in a source that alters the meaning of the research, adds substance to it, or modifies it.


Thursday, 11 May 2023

13.00 - 18.30

Link to connect and join



13.00 Welcome


Chair: Anna Åberg (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)

Socio-Economic Characteristics as Determinants in the Job Market: The Case of Piedmont in Italy (1867-2005)
by Matteo Calabrese (C²DH, University of Luxembourg)

OCR generated digital newspaper archives: Usefulness and limitations for the study of history
by Jørgen Burchardt (Museum Vestfyn, Denmark)


Jumping into unexpected venues of advertisement research
by Matthias Höfer (C²DH, University of Luxembourg)

Operation Crossroad’s Flickering Image: On the (Im)Possibility of Researching Useful TV
by Anne-Katrin Weber (Unil, Switzerland)

Four ways of looking at a satellite earth station
by Lars Lundgren (Södertörn University, Sweden)

15.15-15.30 Break


Chair: Valérie Schafer (C²DH, University of Luxembourg)

Surprising encounters in anarchist archives. On the many lives of historical sources about politics and computing
by Ginevra Sanvitale (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

On Nicola Pellow’s notebook, or: some practices of writing a web browser in 1992/1993
by Sebastian Gießmann (Siegen University, Germany)

Exploring the Hidden Gems of the World Wide Web Logo: Uncovering its Historical Significance and Untapped Marketing Potential through CERN Archive
by Deborah Barcella (Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland)


Can Social Media help reconnect with the past? The case of
by Carmen Noguera (C²DH, University of Luxembourg)

After Wear and Tear: Working with Archival Materials That Show No “Look of Age”
by Johan Fredrikzon (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, & University of California, USA)

17.30-17.45 Break

17.45-18.30 Keynote

Unconventional sources found during the ENIAC in action project
by Thomas Haigh (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA & Siegen University, Germany)