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Category: internet archiving

Chapter 4: Link Rot, Reference Rot and the Thorny Problems of Legal Citation by Ellie Margolis

The fourth chapter in Partners for Preservation is ‘Link Rot, Reference Rot and the Thorny Problems of Legal Citation’ by Ellie Margolis. Links that no longer work and pages that have been updated since they were referenced are an issue that everyone online has struggled with. In this chapter, Margolis gives us insight into why these challenges are particularly pernicious for those working in the legal sphere. ... 

Encouraging Participation in the Census

1940-census-posterWhile smart folks over at NARA are thinking about the preservation strategy for digitized 2010 census forms, I got inspired to take a look at what we have preserved from past censuses. In specific, I wanted to look at posters, photos and videos that give us a glimpse into how we encouraged and documented the activity of participation in the past.

There is a dedicated Census History area on the Census website, as well as a section of the 2010 website called The Big Count Archive. While I like the wide range of 2010 Census Posters – the 1940 census poster shown here (thank you Library of Congress) is just so striking. ... 

Leveraging Google Reader’s Page Change Tracking for Web Page Preservation

The Official Google Reader Blog recently announced a new feature that will let users watch any page for updates. The way this works is that you add individual URLs to your Google Reader account. Just as with regular RSS feeds, when an update is detected – a new entry is added to that subscription.

My thinking is that this could be a really useful tool for archivists charged with preserving websites that change gradually over time, especially those fairly static sites that change infrequently with little or no notice of upcoming changes. If a web page was archived and then added to a dedicated Google Reader account, the archivist could scan their list of watch pages daily or weekly. Changes could then trigger the creation of a fresh snapshot of the site. ... 

After The Games Are Over: Olympic Archival Records

What does an archivist ponder after she turns off the Olympics? What happens to all the records of the Olympics after the closing ceremonies? Who decides what to keep? Not knowing any Olympic Archivists personally, I took to the web to see what I could find.

Olympics.org uses the tag line “Official Website of the Olympic Movement” and include information about The International Olympic Committee’s Historical Archives. The even have an Olympic Medals Database with all the results from all the games. ... 

New Skills for a Digital Era: Official Proceedings Now Available

New Skills for a Digital Era LogoFrom May 31st through June 2nd of 2006, The National Archives, the Arizona State Library and Archives, and the Society of American Archivists hosted a colloquium to consider the question “What are the practical, technical skills that all library and records professionals must have to work with e-books, electronic records, and other digital materials?”. The website for the New Skills for a Digital Era colloquium already includes links to the eleven case studies considered over the course of the three days of discussion as well as a list of additional suggested readings. As mentioned over on The Ten Thousand Year Blog, the pre-print of the proceedings has been available since August, 2007... 

Blog Action Day: A Look At Earth Day as Archived Online

In honor of this year’s Blog Action Day theme of discussing the environment, I decided to see what records the Internet had available about the history of Earth Day.

I started by simply Googling Earth Day. In a new browser window I opened the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. These were to be my two main avenues for unearthing the way that Earth Day was represented on the internet over the years. ... 

Thoughts on Digital Preservation, Validation and Community

The preservation of digital records is on the mind of the average person more with each passing day. Consider the video below from the recent BBC article Warning of data ticking time bomb.


Microsoft UK Managing Director Gordon Frazer running Windows 3.1 on a Vista PC
(Watch video in the BBC News Player)

The video discusses Microsoft’s Virtual PC program that permits you to run multiple operating systems via a Virtual Console. This is an example of the emulation approach to ensuring access to old digital objects – and it seems to be done in a way that the average user can get their head around. Since a big part of digital preservation is ensuring you can do something beyond reading the 1s and 0s – it is promising step. It also pleased me that they specifically mention the UK National Archives and how important it is to them that they can view documents as they originally appeared – not ‘converted’ in any way. ... 

Digital Archiving Articles – netConnect Spring 2007

Thanks to Jessamyn West’s blog post, I found my way to a series of articles in the Spring 2007 edition of netConnect:

“Saving Digital History” is the longest of the three and is a nice survey of many of the issues found at the interseciton of archiving, born digital records and the wild world of the web. I especially love the extensive Link List at the end of the articles — there are lots of interesting related resources. This is the sort of list of links I wish were available with ALL articles online! ... 

Google, Privacy, Records Managment and Archives

BoingBoing.net posted on March 14 and March 15 about Google’s announcement of a plan to change their log retention policy . Their new plan is to strip parts of IP data from records in order to protect privacy. Read more in the AP article covering the announcement.

For those who are not familiar with them – IP addresses are made up of sets of numbers and look something like 192.39.288.3. To see how good a job they can do figuring out the location you are in right now – go to IP Address or IP Address Guide (click on ‘Find City’). ... 

The Archives and Archivists Listserv: hoping for a stay of execution

There has been a lot of discussion (both on the Archives & Archivists (A&A) Listserv and in blog posts) about the SAA‘s recent decision to not preserve the A&A listserv posts from 1996 through 2006 when they are removed from the listserv’s old hosting location at Miami University of Ohio.

Most of the outcry against this decision has fallen into two camps:

  • Those who don’t understand how the SAA task force assigned to appraise the listserv archives could decide it does not have informational value – lots of discussion about how the listserv reflects the move of archivists into the digital age as well as it’s usefulness for students
  • Those who just wish it wouldn’t go away because they still use it to find old posts. Some mentioned that there are scholarly papers that reference posts in the listserv archives as their primary sources.

I added this suggestion on the listserv: ...