Happy New Year to everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed a restful and happy holiday. I’m enjoying getting back into cataloguing after my break and I can’t quite believe that I’m more than half-way through the project already! My cataloguing statistics are going well and I continue to be astonished by the variety of material I’m coming across. I’ve got a few posts to write-up, including a very enjoyable visit to give a seminar paper at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, but for today I thought I’d mention one of my first steps in trying to preserve this NUWT blog.
My first day back I was greeted with a very welcome e-mail from the British Library confirming that I was successful in nominating this blog for their web archiving programme.
Here’s the blurb on the programme: –
“The UK Web Archive contains websites that publish research, that reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK, and demonstrate web innovation…
There are millions of UK websites. They are constantly changing and even disappearing. Often they contain information that is only available online. Responding to the challenge of a potential “digital black hole” the UK Web Archive is there to safeguard as many of these websites as practical. Its purpose is to collect, preserve and give permanent access to key UK websites for future generations.”
Although I am creating an on-line catalogue for the NUWT collection the information contained in this blog is quite unique. The current version of the online catalogue we use has no capacity for including images so most of the images from the collection seen on the blog are not available online elsewhere. In addition the level of detail and the interpretation (I use this term loosely!) which are present on the blog are generally absent in the catalogue. This is out of necessity as the catalogue has to provide descriptive and easy to read information which makes the collection more accessible to users. The amount of text I write in a blog post would in no way be relevant for a catalogue record. So in these ways the blog itself is providing a record of the project and it reassure’s me to know that the British Library, and many other organisations, are actively engaged in working out ways that all these types of online information can be preserved.
I’m still not sure how often they’ll harvest it (that is how often they’ll take a snapshot of the website) as it states on the website that they decide this on a case by case basis. However given that this blog is currently being hosted external to the University website I felt that it was about time I started to make steps in the direction of preserving the content and style of the blog. As I am working on a fixed-term, externally funded project I think it is important that I take steps to ensure the preservation of the blog as a record of the work of the project once the project is completed. I’m also going to look into Blog Forever and take some other steps to ensure the content is preserved such as copying all the content and html into a spreadsheet.