3 Replies to “How Can We Collect the Internet?”

  1. I really like the way that you compared the Stanford article about the collection development plan for web archiving, to the types of collection development plans we have for analog materials. You did a wonderful job showing how similar these types of collection development plans are to each other. One thing that jumped out at me is the notion of institutions making sure that they are collecting archived websites that complement their collections, and how that relates to looking for at-risk websites. Of course it makes logical sense for institutions to use their limited resources to archive websites with a clear nexus to existing materials they hold, but what about at-risk websites that they come across that don’t fit into their collections? Say an institution came across a website similar to an underground zine that they deemed necessary for preservation, but it didn’t fit into their holdings. Should they contact other institutions to see if they can capture it? I guess this goes to the point that as professionals, we need to have ongoing conversations with our peers to have a good understanding of what institutions are working on in order to ensure that items are properly preserved.

    1. I also really liked the points about at-risk websites and the prioritizing the preservation of those websites over others. However, Sarah makes a good point in asking how to deal with at-risk sites that might not mesh with a given collection policy. Contacting other institutions who might be interested in the content is certainly an option, or those who are interested in all internet-based archiving. I think this could also be a great opportunity to encourage a crowdsourced project, if there is no institution that would be a clear fit.

      I do think that the way we choose to archive, not archive, or ask someone else to archive websites highly depends on how visible the websites already are. For instance, at the end of October, Twitter announced that it would discontinue the video-sharing social media platform Vine, which has been incredibly popular to date. Almost immediately, users began to download and compile all of their favorite vines for fear that they’d disappear. Now, the ArchiveTeam and the Internet Archive are working on archiving and making Vine accessible on the Wayback Machine. The ArchiveTeam in particular is taking users’ requests for which vines they’d like to save. Depending on how soon the website disappears, then, the remaining archive of vines could reflect not only the content of the platform, but also the popularity of certain vines over others.

  2. Thrilled you wrote about the Stanford web archiving collection development policy this week. I think it’s really helpful to situation digital preservation policies in relationship to the digital collection development. That way, there is a real connection between the collecting mission of an institution and the policies it puts in place to preserve those collections.

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