At a microscopic level, web archives document the evolution of individual websites. At a macroscopic level, they document the evolution of the Web itself. In the case of web archives for the period when the entire Web consisted of only a handful of individual websites, changes to even a single website reflect changes to the Web itself. We are pleased to announce the availability of such an archive, notably featuring the oldest U.S. website, dating to December 21, 1991.
This past August, the journal of the American Institute for Conservation published a paper by Sarah Norris titled "Toward An Ontology Of Audio Preservation" which features the Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) as a case study. SMPL is presented alongside the Guggenheim Museum and IRENE (Image, Reconstruct, Erase, Noise, Etc.), a non-contact digitization technique developed in 2003 by Dr. Carl Haber at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in Norris' philosophical analysis of audio digitization approaches.
Five new digital collections are now available in SearchWorks. These new collections take advantage of SearchWorks' ability to provide users with rich discovery and access capabilities for finding and working with digital collection content.
The materials consist of videorecordings of lectures on McCarthyism by Marge Frantz. Lectures were part of an anthropology class taught by Dr. S. Lochlann Jain.
Collection Contact: Daniel Hartwig
John Willinsky waited for a couple of weeks after the fall quarter had started to give the Graduate School of Education (GSE) faculty and students some time to settle in to their routines before sending out the big news:
A new and exciting addition to the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) is the data behind the City Nature project. This innovative project combines methodologies from the digital humanities and spatial analysis fields to explore urban nature. Project PIs are Jon Christensen and Michael Kahan with development work by both Karl Grossner and Elijah Meeks.
A couple of weeks ago, Stanford University Libraries hosted Dame Wendy Hall, Jim Hendler, and other web scientists affiliated with the Web Science Trust for a briefing on the Web Observatory initiative and a follow-on workshop organized by Lisa Green from Common Crawl. The notion of a Web Observatory implies a center proferring scientific instruments, but for the analysis of web data rather than natural phenomena. Indeed, the group's vision is that Web Observatories provide access to web datasets, projects, and tools. Eventually, a network of Web Observatories might offer both an interoperable architecture and distributed infrastructures for sharing and analysis of web datasets. The initiative touches on several areas of interest and investment by Stanford University Libraries, including data curation, web archiving, and supporting social science research.
A major challenge for web archivists is the low visibility that downstream archiving has on upstream web content creation. And, yet, deliberate and inadvertent architectural decisions made by web content creators strongly impact the ease or difficulty with which their websites can be captured and faithfully re-presented. A non-trivial byproduct of webmasters helping to ensure their content is archived for their own later use is that the Web itself becomes more archivable, to everyone's benefit.