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Library archiving digital publications


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#1 Terry Walker

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 01:26

I have been contacted by the Australian National Library, who want to keep archive copies of my website in perpetuity, the way they keep books, magazines and other printed publications.

This is a fairly new initiative by the ANL, and will be a very valuable on-line tool for researchers. It suits me, because I have wondered what would happen to the Western Australian racing results section of my own website if and when the site dies. There is far too much to be printed in book form - my guess is at least 2000 pages A4 using 8 pt Courier type. And just being tables of results, it's not likely to be a best seller. However, it gets a lot of on-line hits, which suggests it's useful to a number of motoring historians as well as former competitors who "look themselves up" on the Internet and discover their names in my race results. Increasingly, these days, it's also valuable for people trackin down the racing histories of their historic racers.

The Library has a portal - I think that's techspeak for site - to a growing list of digital publications which they have on archive, and which they undertake to maintain, and to move to newer platforms as time goes by. It's called PANDORA.

I'm all for it, and promptly buzzed of a DVD data disc containing about 25 editions of my site from its inception. They'll all be online through PANDORA in due course. Which means that 20 years from now you'll still be able to rummage around my website even if I've long retired it.

So I'm wondering: do other national Libraries - eg British Library - have a digital publication archive too?

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#2 Darren Galpin

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:23

I've read in the press that they do, but then I've not had a direct approach from them either. I don't know how they go about it.


#3 Terry Walker

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:03

I was thinking of your site when I wrote. I don't know how they work it either - I was approached.

Unlike books etc, it's not compulsory acquisition.

#4 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 11:04

http://forums.autosp...w...c=97033&hl=

Sounds a bit like heritage , what to do with all your work ?

#5 Allen Brown

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 11:35

I already host several other people's websites and will continue to do that - for free of course - for any website of historic value that approaches me.

This ensures that web hosting costs will not be a reason why the site would be taken down after the demise of its owner. After I shuffle off this mortal coil, I will ensure that the hosting remains paid for at least one more generation but I would look to get the whole shebang taken over by a suitable body. My continuing hope is that a UK equivalent of the IMRRC will be born before that happens.

#6 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 16:57

I already host several other people's websites and will continue to do that - for free of course - for any website of historic value that approaches me.

This ensures that web hosting costs will not be a reason why the site would be taken down after the demise of its owner. After I shuffle off this mortal coil, I will ensure that the hosting remains paid for at least one more generation but I would look to get the whole shebang taken over by a suitable body. My continuing hope is that a UK equivalent of the IMRRC will be born before that happens.


The new museum in Alexandria, Egypt, has a "museum" of web sites and claim to have every web site included. I was told that there is a similar facility in Los Angeles.

#7 Allen Brown

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 17:43

archive.org does that - but those archives aren't so easily accessible because Google does not include them in its index.

If we want to keep our work accessible so future student of history can benefit from them, it's best to keep it on the web (as well).

#8 Terry Walker

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:01

There's also the Wayback Machine. My site is on it, I recall, but I haven't looked lately.

EDIT: Ah, that's Archive Org again. Just checked, the latest version of my site is on there, looks complete. Has 19 versions.

My query, though, is about national libraries with comulsory acquisition of books such as the British Library, Australian National Library and so on. If we know which ones collect web sites specially of our dort, we can widen our own foraging range. One or two of the ones which have recently vanished might exist still in a Library collection.

Edited by Terry Walker, 28 October 2011 - 07:07.


#9 Neil Smith

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 11:51

There is a lot going on in this area among national libraries worldwide. The British Library has had a programme for the best part of 8 years (started when I was there) and latest information is at :

http://www.bl.uk/abo...arch/index.html

One problem is that there are a lot of technical, copyright and collection development issues to work out and agree on. So progress can be slow and that means that many useful but ephemeral websites have come and gone before large-scale archiving can start.

The Internet Archive/Wayback Machine reffered to above started first, so it's always worth a look.

Neil