A few weeks ago, Jerry McBride, Mimi Tashiro, Jon Manton, Casey Mullin (our musical colleague in Lathrop Library) and I traveled to the Mile High City of Denver Colorado for the 84th annual meeting of the Music Library Association. We were greeted by a swirling snowstorm and single-digit temperatures: novel to us, not so much for the East Coast attendees!
Once each year, the international web archiving community represented by the International Internet Preservation Consortium meets for a week-long "General Assembly". As alluded to in my recap of the 2014 meeting, I'm pleased to belatedly announce that Stanford University is the confirmed host for the 2015 IIPC General Assembly as well as more promptly announce that registration is now open!
Prospective attendees may register for 1-3 segments making up the week-long event:
- Monday, April 27th, is the Open Conference day. Registration is open to anyone, as the intended audience — researchers, web professionals, digital humanists, digital library specialists, and other interested parties — is broadest. The agenda hasn't been finalized yet but tentatively includes talks on large-scale, longitudinal analyses of web data; insights and differences in personal-scale web content preservation; and experimentation with derivative web archive datasets.
- Tuesday, April 28th, is the Open Workshops day. Registration is again open to anyone, though the program has a slightly more web archiving community-centric focus. The agenda currently features, in parallel, a file formats hackathon and sessions on web archive information retrieval, content analysis, and promising new tools.
- Wednesday through Friday, April 29th to May 1st, are IIPC working days. Registration is open to staff of IIPC member institutions only. These days will feature tracks for each of the working groups and sessions proposed by IIPC members focused on collaborative projects and exchange of best practices.
I encourage anyone interested in a survey of the work happening in the field to sign up for one or both of the "open" days. If you belong to an IIPC member institution (Stanford University employees are eligible) and are currently or prospectively engaged in web archiving on an ongoing basis, you may also want to consider the IIPC days.
The General Assembly location rotates every year, typically between Europe, North America, and Oceania, so this is an infrequent opportunity for nearby interested individuals and institutions to plug in. There's also an attendee cap, so please register sooner as versus later, if you plan to attend.
We hope to see you there!
On Tuesday, Dec 16 2014, the SearchWorks team added a new set of features supporting the display and use of digital content in SearchWorks:
- An updated image viewer that includes a styled header and footer, three different viewing modes (single image, thumbnail gallery and horizontal scroll), file download links and improved navigation and full-screen mode. You can see an example at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/tv206kh7995
- Direct download access to non-image file content, such as deposited datasets, media files and objects from born-digital collections. Users no longer need to click a link to purl.stanford.edu to access file-type content that is available in SearchWorks. For an example see http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/rq635hh7400
- For both the new image and file viewer, users now have the ability to embed these digital objects in other web pages, such as blog posts. By clicking the embed icon </> in the footer of the viewer, the user is shown embed code that they can copy and paste into html when authoring a blog post or other web page. The fully functional embedded version of the viewer will also include in the footer a link that shows the use and reproduction statement, and copyright statement (if applicable). See an example of a digital object embedded in a blog post at http://stanford.io/1zICRVe
This latest release (SearchWorks version 3.0.8), also includes several other bug fixes and enhancements.
We are pleased to announce the acceptance of our bid to join the IIPC Steering Committee, based on a vote by the IIPC membership. SUL joins the 15-member group as one of two currently-serving university library members (the other being the University of North Texas Libraries) and as the third university library to ever serve on the body (the other being the California Digital Library).
The Steering Committee provides strategic direction for the IIPC, defining the structures for successful projects and collaborations, overseeing sponsored initiatives and partnerships, discussing and approving the annual budget, and vetting new member applications. This particular Steering Committee will have the additional role of guiding the creation of the 2016-2018 membership agreement, which informs the IIPC mission and goals.
Recent years have seen an especial increase in the number of IIPC members that are both research university libraries and based in North America; SUL exemplifies this category. And though the percentage of U.S. web archiving organizations that are IIPC members is in the single digits, the work of the IIPC strongly affects the field as a whole.
We look forward to participating in the IIPC Steering Committee starting in 2015 and, through this opportunity, advancing both the SUL web archiving program and web archiving generally.
"We had no idea that we were making history and were just trying to get the job done in our 'spare' time',” Louise Addis, one of the WWWizards team who developed the SLAC website from 1991, said during our conversation about the restoration of SLAC's earliest website. Last May, Nicholas Taylor, web archiving service manager, told me, "SLAC has a historical collection of webpages that may be the first website in the US. Can we help them to find a home for this archive?” As Web archivist, I felt that I found a treasure. I replied, "Of course, Stanford Web Archive Portal should be the home."
One of the major use cases for the Web Archiving Service is preserving Stanford University web content. The earliest SLAC website represent the oldest such content we could find; it is the first website in the US dated to 1991, so we started there. Stanford Web Archiving Service launched its portal this week which featured SLAC's earliest website that was kept on SLAC servers for many years. This Halloween, it comes back to life. Our task was to convert the original list of scattered files into an accessible, browsable website with temporal navigation. In this post, I will discuss the technical challenges of and lessons learned from restoration process.
In the course of creating a browsable archive of the SLAC earliest websites, we discovered a number of interesting facts and features that might not be readily apparent on casual browsing. While surely not an exhaustive catalog, we hope that these observations will help you to quickly get into the archive and discover some of what it has to offer.
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.
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.