LIBER Steering Committee for Heritage Collections and Preservation

posted 9 Jul 2012, 04:38 by Patrick Poullie   [ updated 10 Jul 2012, 01:06 ]
The LIBER Steering Committee for Heritage Collections and Preservation meeting in Florence Italy on May 7-8 included a keynote presentation by SESERV participant Eric Meyer, speaking on the theme of “Partnering for Web Archives: Preserving the Web, Enabling Research”. The talk focused on the born digital public content held in web archives, and the challenge of using these data for research purposes.  My group has written several reports in recent years (for JISC and the IIPC) on research engagement (or lack thereof) with web archives, and has highlighted the fact that one of the biggest disconnects at the moment is that while archives of the web are being increasingly preserved, the tools and methods for doing research from these archives is less well-developed that doing research on the live web.  I will argue that the range of partners who should be involved in preserving web archives needs to extend far beyond the preservation community - into the community of researchers (such as sociologists, political scientists, communications scholars, and information scientists) who are the natural researchers of such materials, but also into the newly developing areas of 'big data' where efforts to mine the streams of data being generated on the web are being seen to hold massive value both for understanding society but also for generating economic benefit.