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  • 2019-05-21 UC DLFx Birds of a Feather
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  • Share insights about web archiving with UC Libraries colleagues

Discussion items

Notes from a small lunchtime group discussion about web archiving
  • Owing to some logistical missteps, the group did not end up doing a web archiving "showcase" but shifted instead for a lunchtime discussion of web archiving topics, sharing history, context, interests, and challenges. In addition to a few CKG members, Xiaoli Li (Content Support Services Department Head) from UC Davis and John Kunze (Identifier Systems Architect) from CDL participated.
  • John shared some thoughts on transitioning web archiving services away from CDL, including considering risk mitigation when UC Libraries are primarily reliant on a single service. This is related to the group's intention to discuss digital preservation considerations at a future meeting.
  • There was some interest in further assessing/addressing how web archives are described and made discoverable, comparing approaches to metadata for web archives.
  • The group also had some discussion about the ethics of web archiving and archiving social media, ranging from questioning just how/whether social media/web content authors are aware that their posts or shared content may be subject to archiving and research (even when shared publicly), considering potential harm/exploitation that may come of aggregating social media content in an archive (e.g., in the case of social activism participants), looking to emerging approaches to accessioning social media content from the DocNow project and Bergis Jules' writing on this topic (e.g., a "tweet deed of gift").
  • Discussion also expanded to considering how to balance time and resource intensive approaches that in some cases may feel appropriate/accountable to content owners with the vast scale and dynamic job of archiving the web, noting shifts in approaches since early days of web archiving which in many cases included making individual requests of individual website owner to crawl their content.
  • Tori brought up looking to the NDSA survey results (see the latest here: to get a feel for how approaches to capturing web-based content have changed over time, perhaps with new norms and best practices emerging.

Action items

  • Ensure topics will be discussed at future WACKG meetings: digital preservation strategies for UC-held web archives, metadata and discovery approaches for UC-held web archives, ethical considerations for web archives/social media capture.
  • Use a future meeting (or portion thereof) to execute the "showcase" plan (already populated with some interesting URLs!).