Web archiving in a fast moving world

When the winds of political changes flow through Canberra it becomes a busy time for the web archiving team. We have blogged about the timeliness of web archiving before, but that was for one site, the events of last week impacted upon many sites in a short period of time. Once the news broke of a Caucus ballot for the leadership the online news services started producing online content at a prodigious rate as they covered the rapidly evolving story.

How Fast is the Web Archiving?

We are often asked how we select content for the PANDORA Archive. Much of the selection process is planned and considered and procedural, but the web is a dynamic and live medium propelled nowadays by social media -  and as web archiving curators we need to be able to respond quickly. So, I though an example of a site collected this week migh be of interest. The issue of the National Broadband Network policy is one of the most contested in the lead up to this year's Federal Election in September. There is much commentary in the media and on the web.

Archiving the protest site

Websites can be thought of as a form of ephemera. That is material that is used for only a short period of time and is important at that time. A particular type of print ephemera is material that has been used to sway political decisions often in the form of mail deliveries or as handouts at elections. Since the birth of the internet people or organisations wishing to push a political angle have also used the internet in a similar way.

Archiving the history of history on-line

In the minds of most people the Internet isn’t associated with history. The Internet is the place most people look for the latest information on what is happening around the world right now. Information on-line would seem to revolve around current events and a twenty-four hour news cycle. However the on-line environment provides a great way for amateur and professional historians to connect with each other and share information.


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