You are here

Challenges for Web Archiving

The keynote speaker this morning is Malcolm Gillies, the DVC (Education) at Australian National University. He provides a brief history of cultural transmission, from remembered oral tradition to the emergence of the written word (which suffered its first tragedy with the demise of the library at Alexandria). Massive duplication through printing made text less vulnerable to loss, and gave information a tangible form. Now, however, digitisation has made information intangible again, as well as flexible and ephemeral.

Forms of communication have multiplied and diversified with the new electronic and digital networks, and only a few of these are being covered by archives and libraries so far. This may constitute an 'archival dark age', Malcolm suggests. (This, indeed, already started with earlier electronic forms - the thermal fax, early digital music recordings, etc.). The Web only intensifies this problem - and there is also a problem of overlap between it and other forms of communicaton.

Archiving Web Resources

The conference begins with a welcome from Jan Fullerton, the Director-General of the National Library of Australia. She sets the scene by noting the relevance of Web materials as yet another slice of contemporary culture which needs to be archived by national libraries - but of course the archiving of such material is complex and unprecedented, especially also because of the significant increase in the volume of material. Therefore, cooperative approaches to archiving are required.

The NLA's PANDORA archive of Web resources is now being recognised as a significant resource by UNESCO, and has been nominated for the UNESCO world register for the memory of the world. This is a significant achievement and points to the significance of what the NLA has already managed to do. Other national libraries around the world are also involved in Web archiving now, of course, with often some very different approaches to the process - this variety is interesting in itself. Now, of course, there is the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), which aims to interoperate such approaches.

Peace in Canberra

Mower MagicWell, here I am at the National Library in Canberra - and the first thing that greeted me is a large peace sign mowed into the lawns across Lake Burley Griffin from Parliament House. Nice work.

The Contemporary Web and I

I'm heading off to Canberra on Monday, where I'm speaking at a conference on Archiving Web Resources organised by the National Library of Australia. My topic is "Contemporary Culture and the Web" - not an easy area to summarise in 30 minutes! This conference follows on from the IIPC meeting at the British Library which I attended in Septemb

M/C Revamped

I've spent the weekend updating the site of M/C - Media and Culture, for which I serve as General Editor. Phew - a lot of work, even though the placement students who designed the upgrade have done a fantastic job updating the look and feel of the site. The next step now is to upload the new issue, 'fame'; this should happen tonight, I hope.

Update Complete

Well, that's that, more or less. The update is done and trackback should work now. Still a few minor things to iron out, but things should work OK...

Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production

I've added some more information about my book project, Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production, to this Website. A draft of the introduction is also online now. I'll be working on the book throughout this year - have to deliver the final draft to Peter Lang Publishing in New York by the end of November.

Data lost

Backing up from an equally annoying and upsetting week - I lost a harddrive just after Easter. Luckily I had backed up most of my work-related files just before, but much other data seems gone, including all of my emails, my calendar, and my address book. You don't realise how much you depend on Outlook until it's gone... Data recovery services charge through the nose and I can't justify spending a cool $6000 for a 70% chance of getting my data back.

Getting started...

My very own content management system-cum-blog-cum-research repository. Is this a form of gatewatching ?


Subscribe to Snurblog RSS