Communities of practice in web archiving

Long, long ago, on October 18th (before I moved offices or went on vacation!) I attended the first day of the Archive-It partners’ meeting at the Internet Archive. Molly Bragg and Kristine Hanna from the Internet Archive asked me to attend and help facilitate a discussion on “big picture issues” for web archiving.

Now that we have a sizable community of institutions who are doing web archiving, we can start to establish first practices, if not best practices, for communities of web archiving. I think it’s important to first identify what the various business cases or communities of web archiving exist, because I think that practices (descriptive practices, collection development, etc.) will differ between communities of practice.

Here’s my first stab at defining communities of web archiving practice. What would you add? How would you organize differently? I’m eager to hear.

  • Subject-based (area studies, etc.)
  • Mandated collection/retention (here I’d include capturing state and agency publications, government websites / publications, capturing the webspace of a university for university archives…)
  • Institutional repository/intellectual output of an institution
  • Event based (9/11, Katrina, Virginia Tech shootings)
  • Preserving virtual environments (Second Life)

This was a terrific meeting, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend.