IIPC Panel Accepted

Image composited from three public domain images from Pixabay.

The IIPC has accepted a panel proposed by Jasmine Mulliken, Anna Perricci, and Sumitra Duncan for inclusion in its 2018 Web Archiving Conference program. While the program has yet to be released, we are excited to be part of what promises to be a dynamic and productive conversation.

The conference will take place in Wellington, New Zealand, November 12-15, and the panel is a collaboration between members of Stanford University Press, New York Art Resources Consortium, and Rhizome. Rhizome’s Webrecorder tool, an overview of which will be presented by Anna Perricci, will serve as the central focus, and Jasmine Mulliken (SUP) and Sumitra Duncan (NYARC) will describe and demonstrate how two fields, scholarly publishing and art, are using Webrecorder’s unique affordances in their preservation work. The panel will be moderated by Nicole Coleman of Stanford University Libraries. Below is the text of the proposal:

Recent advancements in web archiving technology are looking especially promising for the preservation of artistic and scholarly work. While the Internet Archive continues to play a crucial role in this endeavor, there are limitations that make it challenging for publishers, art museum libraries, and artists to capture the increasingly dynamic and complex interactive features that often define the work they produce, present and preserve. Fortunately, there is an option in addition to the Internet Archive for organizations working in art and scholarly publishing, two fields that often deal with unique, complex, and bespoke web content.

Webrecorder, a Rhizome project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, offers a symmetrical approach to web archiving services in that a web browser is used both as a tool for capture of websites and access to the archived web content. Webrecorder’s tools fill some gaps left by large-scale services and allow a more granular and customizable experience for curators and publishers of digital content. There will be an updated version with improved functionality and features released in March, 2018. Rhizome’s planning for technical development and financial sustainability is in progress and by the end of 2018 a robust plan for growth over the next 3-5 years will be established.

Stanford University Press is breaking new ground in scholarly publishing with its Mellon-funded initiative for the publication of online interactive scholarly works. Unlike typical open-access textbooks or ebooks, these works carry all the heft of a traditional monograph but in a format that leverages the potential of web-based digital tools and platforms. In fact, these works could not be published in traditional monograph form because the arguments are embedded in the technology. Included in SUP’s grant is a mandate to consider the archiving and preservation of these ephemeral works. Webrecorder is proving to be especially compatible with the bespoke projects the Press is publishing.

The New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC)-the research libraries of the Brooklyn Museum, The Frick Collection, and The Museum of Modern Art-has developed a collaborative workflow for building web archive collections, with captures of several thousand websites now publicly available. NYARC’s web archive collections include the consortium’s institutional websites and six thematic collections pertaining to art and art history: art resources, artists’ websites, auction houses, catalogues raisonnés, NYC galleries, and websites related to restitution scholarship for lost or looted art. NYARC has actively contributed to user testing efforts of the Webrecorder tool over the past three years and has now integrated the tool into their workflow in compliment to their use of the Archive-It service. The use of Webrecorder has been especially pertinent to capturing complex museum exhibition sites, scholarly sites devoted to specific artists, and social media accounts of the museums.

This panel will include an overview of Webrecorder’s most significant new features and plans for sustainability. Co-panelists from Stanford University Press and NYARC will explain and demonstrate their uses of Webrecorder in the context of their distinct projects, which represent their fields’ unique web archiving needs.

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