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An Arizona model for web access and preservation

When I was in Baltimore last week, I learned about the An Arizona model for web access and preservation written by Richard Pearce-Moses. The document is still under development and is currently 52 pages long but still well worth reading.

Arizona is one of several states (including Alaska) trying to harvest state publications from agency web sites and store them on library servers. I think this paper does a great job of explaining the challenges involved. For instance, although they are collecting electronic documents, they don’t fool themselves into thinking that preservation is accomplished:

This model does not address long-term problems of keeping bitstreams alive or software obsolescence. Preservation, for the purposes of this model, means capturing documents so that they are within the control of the repository in hopes that, when those long-term problems are solved, there is current content that can be migrated into the future.

Most of the paper is a thoughtful analysis of how to characterize state agency web space with the intention that not everything should be saved. Richard draws analogies between website directory structures and archival record series in hopes of being able to make yea or nea choices on entire directories. That would relieve some of burden of assessing files one by one; something that probably isn’t scalable.

If you’ve read or skim the Arizona model, tell us what you thought of it!

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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