What is an Archivist?

I’ve been interested in keeping old content and what happens to content once the source is gone, for a long time. In particular, web content, since the days I was an editor with the Open Directory Project. I liked finding sites which disappeared. Often I could find them again, on their own domain or from their own domain to a free service like Blogger. I liked tracking them down. It was an adventure and something I could feel pleased about. Not every site could be found again. Often, they were abandoned too. Content still there but no one maintaining it.

There are so many other issues when it comes to preserving online/ web content. Consider the web host the site is on. When payments to the host stop it isn’t long before the domain expires and the site will go missing. What happens to your own sites, social media and whatever else you’ve got, if you die? I think about that too. Mine would all just be gone and not all that missed. But, I’ve written it mostly for myself and my own satisfaction, something new to learn.

I’ve got archives of ASCII art. Loads of it but all a mess, not organized. I try to sort it but soon decide my methods are not working well and no one will actually find anything. Plus, there is the problem of how to display it. ASCII art works in plain text files but does not show up on an HTML site (very well or easily) that way. I’ve had people bitch, complaining that it isn’t really ASCII art if it’s shown in an image file versus plain text. Well, whine on, but you don’t have the headache of trying to make it work.

Anyway, so much for keeping on point…

I’d like to know more about how web content is being archived and what people are doing with the content they save. How is it being stored? Is it viewable by anyone? What about copyrights? So many questions… 

via- The Association of Canadian Archivists

Leave a Reply