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Archiving Web Sites - Preservation Challenges

Q. What are the challenges for preserving web sites?

Before you dive in to tackling the challenges of digital preservation, it's good to take a step back and understand the challenges you will be facing. These challenges are technological, financial, and organizational. In order to implement an effective digital preservation program, you need to establish organizational commitment. This means that all levels of your institution should understand and support the digital preservation activities of your unit. This step is key to securing the financial and human resources you need for these activities. Additionally, you will need to have a firm grasp on the technology you will need to preserve your web content. Specifically, you will need to examine and plan for changing technology. 


Take action

  • Understand the technological challenges of long-term preservation
  • Understand the financial challenges of long-term preservation
  • Understand the organizational challenges of long-term preservation



  • Cornell University Library.  "Digital Preservation Strategies."  Chap. 6 in Digital Preservation Management Tutorial: Implementing Short-term Strategies for Long-term Problems, 2003-2007.
    The conclusion of this guide asserts that an organization's digital preservation program needs to fit defined needs, requirements, and resources, requires ongoing and iterative development, and should reflect best practices and standards.
  • Rothenberg, Jeff.  "Avoiding Technological Quicksand: Finding a Viable Technical Foundation for Digital Preservation."  Council of Library and Information Resources.  January 1998.
    This report explores the technical depth of the problem of long-term digital preservation, analyzes the inadequacies of a number of ideas that have been proposed as solutions, and elaborates the emulation strategy.
  • Thibodeau, Kenneth.  “Overview of Technological Approaches to Digital Preservation and Challenges in Coming Years.”  In The State of Digital Preservation: An International Perspective.  Washington, D.C.: Documentation Abstracts, Inc., July 2002. 

    This report from the Council on Library and Information Resources tries to answer the question, what is a digital object?

  • Kenney, Anne R., et al.  "Preservation Risk Management for Web Resources."  D-Lib Magazine 8 no. 1 (2002).  doi: 10.1045/january2002-kenney.
    This article describes current Web preservation efforts by libraries and archives and suggests how a new preservation strategy could use a risk management methodology.
  • "Assessing Risk."  Chap. 4 in Archiving Web Resources: Guidelines for Keeping Records of Web-based Activity in the Commonwealth Government National Archives of Australia, 2001.
    Pages 20-23 in this PDF document factors to consider and determining an acceptable level of risk.


Last updated on 08/26/13, 10:07 pm by callee



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