Sunday, May 15, 2011

Website Archiving: Human Rights Example at Columbia

Columbia has therefore bitten off a piece small enough to chew: 491 websites dedicated to the documentation of human rights efforts abroad. Human rights is a topic area that stands to benefit from website archiving, since many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that document human rights abuses in other countries publish reports on the Web that never make it into print, and these sites are more liable than others that publish original reports to vanish, taking their contributions to the historical record with them, say the Columbia archivists.

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.

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