Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How do you keep an Archive of Blogs?

I don't know the answer to this question, but blog archives of some kind will be historical research sources of the future, so others are working on the issue.

The Library of Congress is already archiving blogs through its "Web Capture" program. The LOC website describes it this way:

The Library of Congress preserves the nation's cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them. The Library's traditional functions of acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and the American people to foster education and scholarship extend to digital materials, including Web sites.

In 2000, the Library of Congress established a pilot project to collect and preserve these primary source materials....

In 2004, the Library’s Office of Strategic Initiatives created a Web Capture team to support the goal of managing and sustaining at-risk digital content. The team is charged with building a Library-wide understanding and technical infrastructure for capturing Web content. The team, in collaboration with a variety of Library staff, and national and international partners, is identifying policy issues, establishing best practices and building tools to collect and preserve Web content.

How did I find out about this? The Legal History Blog has been "captured!" It feels pretty much the same as pre-capture. I haven't figured out where I'm captured and who I have been captured along with. But if you leave comments, they will be there for historians of the future.

If you are a blogger, your input on digital preservation is sought in a survey, going on right now. Here's the announcement, via the Law Librarian Blog (hat tip):
Do you blog? If yes, then please consider participating in an online survey from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science. The study, Blogger Perceptions on Digital Preservation, is being conducted under the guidance of Paul Jones. Members of this research team are Carolyn Hank (Principle Investigator), Songphan Choemprayong and Laura Sheble, PhD students at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC-CH.

The researchers are interested in hearing from all bloggers on their perceptions on digital preservation in relation to their own blogging activities, as well as the blogosphere in general. To hear more about this survey, please visit the study's fact sheet at The Project Site. From there, you can link out to the web-based survey. The survey will be available through May 23, 2007.