Web Archiving: POWR to Digital Continuity

The iPRES 2008 conference finished on Tuesday 30th September and has been fairly comprehensively reported by Chris Rusbridge in the digital curation blog.

I would like to pull out a couple of papers which were particular highlights for me in the programme: namely two Web-archiving projects, the JISC Funded POWR project and The National Archive (TNA)’ s Web Continuity Project.

POWR was the subject of an excellent presentation and paper by Brian Kelly which you can access on the UKOLN website. It gave examples of making the case for Web archiving within universities and its findings fitted extremely well with our own iPRES 2008 presentation of the Charles Beagrie work for JISC on Digital Preservation Policies and their implementation. Partners in the POWR project are UKOLN and ULCC and you can find further information and a draft Handbook on the POWR Project Blog.

The Web Continuity Project was another impressive iPRES paper from TNA (it could well be a hot betting favourite to complete a future TNA hat-trick of Digital Preservation Awards). The presentation pointed to the problems being encountered in Hansard (the official record of debates in the UK Parliament). Action had been requested by Jack Straw leader of the House of Commons when it was discovered that 60% of links in Hansard to UK Government electronic documents or webpages on websites for the period 1997 to 2006 were broken. The Web Continuity Project is an imaginative response from TNA using re-direction of failed searches to relevant pages in the TNA’s Web Archive of Government websites – the service developed by the project will go live in November.

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