Archiving web information

oakcroft13 bill at h...
Tue Mar 19 11:48:26 GMT 2002

David Bryant:

> CC library to take full print outs of website data,
> particularly the 'county bell book' type websites.

This is clearly a good idea, and for websites which are text based 
and descriptive (i.e. are formatted like books) is an appropriate 
method of preservation. Archivists will make recommendations on types 
of paper etc. needed for long-term storage.

However, for websites which are multi-media and interactive (sound 
files, graphics, cross-linking between pages, searchable etc.) a 
paper printout will omit much useful content. The ultimate example 
might be a website built around a database, where the visible 
manifestation of the website may never adequately represent the 
relationships which exist in the data. Perhaps a paper printout 
should be kept just in case, but much more useful would be to burn a 
CD for the CC archives - much cheaper, and much more useful. One is 
taking a gamble that the technology will exist to access the CD - but 
if the information (sound files, cross-links, data relationships 
etc.) is only accessible via this technology then it's Hobson's 

Bill H

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