Preserving the Internet

November 2, 2013

An article about Israel’s attempt to preserve most of their websites for history caught my attention. Israel’s archive will be produced through the National Library. The stated purpose of this activity is to “preserve online publications published on Israeli websites for coming generations, just as books and other printed material are preserved.” Who else is pursuing this?

The US has been working on this for many years out of San Francisco through the Internet Archive. Their website has many intriguing points and factoids to consider- for example, there is no complete record of films from the early part of the 20th century because many of those films were recycled to retrieve silver content. Internet Archive offers a broad range of information: books, film, music, NASA images, and many other collections. Of course, the Library of Congress offers tremendous resources, however its mission statement is not to record everything online, but rather to support the Congress and help the American people with knowledge and produced through its National Library.

The next question: Which countries are not archiving or are actively preventing the construction of these records? This fascinating short article and bar graph from The Atlantic discusses the progress or lack there of around the world in mapping internet activity for future generations. (This blog post barely touches the surface of a complex topic. Graph below depicts Internet users per 100 inhabitants.)

Shira S.


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