Monday, October 14, 2013

Archive-It

Librarians, archivists, trend consultants, professors, and fashionistas gathered on October 3 through October 5 for LIM’s Fashion: Now & Then event. The three-day conference featured 50 presenters and more than 200 attendees. Kristine Hanna, program director at Archive-It, kicked off the third day of the conference with a dynamic presentation on Web archiving.



Archive-It, a service of the Internet Archive, was deployed in 2006 and has a mission to “harvest and preserve” digital collections. As of today, the organization has collected 6,754,228,298 URLs for 2,278 public collections. With more than 275 partners globally, Archive-It works with organizations to collect, catalog, and manage content. Partners include college and university libraries; state archives, libraries, and historical societies; federal institutions and non-governmental organizations; museums and art libraries; and public libraries. Hanna explained that corporations are also recognizing the value of preserving content. For example, the Archive-It service can benefit a business that wants to capture its own corporate heritage—and this type of archiving is certainly on the rise.



So, “Why is this important?” Hanna asked an attentive crowd. She continued by carefully outlining how it is essential to preserve what she calls “at risk” events. For instance, news websites or broadcasts that report on key occurrences are significant to keep. Web archiving allows us to document an entire timeline and later go back and watch how an event unfolded. We must also consider information that is “born digital,” which means this information may only exist in a digital format. If this is not recorded, then we put ourselves at risk of losing important pieces of our history. Moreover, gathering information from the Web can support and enhance existing collections and research. Today, information is changing at a rapid pace, and it can sometimes be difficult to determine what is considered “worthy” of saving. While space limitations and the ever-changing Web are also factors, the Web archiving process is vital to ensure the survival of content for future generations.



Archive-It and the Internet Archive—the world’s largest public Web archive that houses text, audio, moving images, e-books, software, and digital content—are continuing to grow and are necessary resources for the information industry. For more information, please visit http://archive-it.org/ and http://archive.org/.

Hanna’s lecture on Web preservation was in memory of Ron Knoth, who was a professor at LIM and also the keynote speaker for the Fashion: Now & Then event in 2012. Professor Knoth was known for his popular blogs, poetry, and writings on 20th century fashion, menswear, visual merchandising, and fashion history. He was also an early adopter of preserving blogs.




Sources: Based on presentation by Kristine Hanna, http://archive-it.org/, and http://archive.org/.

Posted on October 14, 2013 I Blog post by Elizabeth Marotta (Evening Librarian)