Since my core content is already well preserved on the Internet Archive, YouTube, and the original site, since the contextualizing information has been meticulously captured by dedicated fans and posted to the HR Wiki, and since the community remains active through the Homestar subreddit, doing the actual preservation work was in the end highly redundant. The work has been done and well. So instead, here is the intellectual exercise of how to organize the data were it to be captured and preserved by a different kind of organization: a major research university.
While the argument has been made for preservation by original order, homestarrunner.com is organized in categories and then largely chronologically, but not purely so. The content here is organized to reflect as closely as possible the organization of the content as it appeared on the site (with major groups first and then release order) while still making it easy to navigate for novices and scholars. In addition I’ve broken out the content of the creative and auxiliary content discussed below.
Part 1: Administrative Data
The first part of the Archive is the Administrative Data organized under the ReadeMe folder. This folder contains the information that captures intellectual control of the materials contained in parts 2-4 of the collection.
The files in this section include:
Parts 2 & 3: Content
Sections Two and Three house the creative content of the Homestar Runner Archive.
Part 2: Primary Content. This folder includes the featured content from homestarrunner.com, the areas of the site that were updated most often, featured most heavily, or most often seen by new fans:
Each of the individual folders for a primary video contains both a master copy of the video as well as a data file (to accompany the imbedded metadata). The Master Video file will be the best available copy of the most recent and accessible version, the least compressed; in short, the version from which future migrations should be made. The Data File will contain up-to-date curated content from the HR Wiki, plus additional information as relevant for each file. The Data Files will contain transcripts, references, links, Easter egg lists, and routing. For example, Teen Girl Squad #1 is actually a Strong Bad Email, so instead of duplicating the content, the folder for TGS #1 will route to the appropriate SBE folder.
Part 3: Secondary Content. Everything else. This folder contains everything else produced for the site.
Like the Primary content, this will consist mostly of master copies of AV content, such as the website homepages or music videos, and the associated data files. However, it also includes free downloads, collaborative materials, the live-action puppet videos, and merchandise lists to help collectors track licensed products.
Part 4: Auxiliary Materials
Section Four comprises materials relevant to a full understanding of the Homestar Runner Archive, but not a part of the creative content.
With the content so well preserved in so many locations, the next logical steps for a research institution interested in the not only the social impact but the research potential of this collection would be to make overtures to the creators to see what interest exists in the preservation of the creating tools, what oral histories could be captured about the creation and creative process, and what original media still remains that might bolster a digital collection for the edification of future generations.