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Archiving the Web

A new article in Times Higher Education (THE), calls attention to the need for archiving the web and the difficulties of doing it.

  • Memory failure detected, Times Higher Education, (Sept. 1, 2011).

    “We are taking it for granted that such material will be there, but we need to be attentive. We have a responsibility to future generations of researchers.”

    …While libraries are currently digitising 19th-century documents and making them available via the web, it is “deeply ironic” that websites from two years ago are being made less accessible, Meyer notes.

The article also refers to a paper on web archiving:

  • Meyer, Eric T., Thomas, Arthur and Schroeder, Ralph, Web Archives: The Future(s) (June 30, 2011).

    In this report, the authors consider the possible future uses of web archives.

    This report is structured first, to engage in some speculative thought about the possible futures of the web as an exercise in prompting us to think about what we need to do now in order to make sure that we can reliably and fruitfully use archives of the web in the future. Next, we turn to considering the methods and tools being used to research the live web, as a pointer to the types of things that can be developed to help understand the archived web. Then, we turn to a series of topics and questions that researchers want or may want to address using the archived web. In this final section, we tentatively identify some of the short, medium and long term challenges individuals, organizations, and international bodies can target to increase our ability to explore these topics and answer these questions.

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