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Making the Black Hole Gray: Implementing the Web Archiving of Specialist Art Resources


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Report on the New York Art Resources Consortium's investigation into web archiving born-digital art research materials.

Presented at the Archive-It Partner Meeting, Salt Lake CIty, Utah, November 12, 2013

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Making the Black Hole Gray: Implementing the Web Archiving of Specialist Art Resources

  1. 1. Making the Black Hole Gray: Implementing the Web Archiving of Specialist Art Resources Archive-It Meeting Salt Lake City November 12, 2013 Deborah Kempe Frick Art Reference Library
  2. 2. • NYARC as a case study • Pilot Project to archive auction sites • Reframing Collections Study Grant • Making the Black Hole Gray?
  3. 3. Brooklyn Museum MoMA Frick Art Reference Library
  4. 4. We are straddling two worlds: physical and digital
  5. 5.
  6. 6. NOT Why Archive the Web? BUT How to Archive the Web? Who Should Archive the Web? Who Pays for Archiving the Web? How do People Navigate Web Archives?
  7. 7. Are we confused yet??
  8. 8. Adventures in Web Archiving Capturing born-digital content from auction house websites 2010 Pilot Project
  9. 9. Pilot Auction House Seeds • Bonhams • Dreweatts • International Auctioneers • Tajan • Pandolfini • Günther Kunstauktionhaus • Nagel Auktionen • • R. W. Oliver’s • Hosane • Heritage Auctions
  10. 10. What did we find? • Diversity of formats: PDFs, XML, e-Catalogs, embedded audio and video • Dynamism of continuing resources • Some sites forego legacy formats in favor of a dynamic, comprehensive, database • Some sites capture well, others not at all
  11. 11. "Right now, we're 100 percent ready to archive the way the Web was 10 years ago." Sara Aubry. "A Memory of Webs Past." IEEE Spectrum, March 2011
  12. 12. Reframing Collections for a Digital Age: A Preparatory Study for Collecting and Preserving Web-Based Art Research Materials • $50,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation • 12 months, February 2012-January 2013
  13. 13. Expected Outcomes and Benefits (1) Find the ‘tipping point’ from analog to digital (2) Recommendations to NYARC as to: what it should collect; best methods of web archiving; what partners to work with; how to address intellectual property, ethical and access issues (3) Recommendation of appropriate changes to technical infrastructure to support digital capture, resource discovery, preservation and access (4) Preparation of grant proposal for technical infrastructure upgrading (5) Dissemination of results to the art libraries community
  14. 14. RECOMMENDATIONS • Use Archive-It as the web archiving tool • Establish incremental growth of collections beginning with high priority or high risk materials • Join the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) • Develop a tool for open nominations for site selection • Investigate ways to further automate metadata creation • Use students for Quality Assurance • Develop levels of restricted access • Develop and maintain a framework of notifications and requests • Large doses of collaboration
  15. 15. Making the Black Hole Gray: Implementing the Web Archiving of Specialist Art Resources • $340,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation • 2 years, October 2013- September 2015
  16. 16. Five types of web content that mirror NYARC’s collecting strengths • Born-digital auction catalogs • Artists’ websites • Born-digital catalogues raisonnés • Art-rich websites • Our own museums’ websites
  17. 17. What is on the horizon? ©Andreas Gursky, Rhein II
  18. 18. TWO YEAR TO-DO LIST • Temporary staff to test and formulate a sustainable workflow, including re-skilling and organizational changes • Web archiving subscriptions to Archive-It (2TB) and Hanzo • Consultants for putting metadata and content management principles into practice—ontologies appropriate to our scope and granularity • Some case-by-case legal review • Discovery layer interface for access • Duracloud for preservation
  19. 19. COLLABORATION WILL BE REQUIRED FOR THE FUTURE OF ART BIBLIOGRAPHY “As long as libraries and archives remain stymied by the plethora of issues involved in archiving born-digital content and the daunting prospect of having to “do it all,” their progress will continue to be slow. Inaction may impede the course of research and contribute to the loss of important content. By leveraging specialized resources and expertise across the archival and library communities, individual archives and libraries are far more likely to be able to keep up with the onrush of born-digital content and actively further the course of research.“ --Ricky Erway, OCLC Program Officer. Swatting the Long Tail of Digital Media: A Call for Collaboration—Sept. 2012
  20. 20. Come along for the ride…
  21. 21. Links to resources cited, and other useful information on born digital content D-Lib Magazine March/April 2012, Volume 18, Number 3-4, Web Archives for Researchers: Representations, Expectations and Potential Uses, by Peter Stirling, Philippe Chevallier and Gildas Illien. from/ study.pdf Digital Scholarship’s Digital Curation Resource Guide website of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC), blog posting by Stephen Bury, June 18, 2012 Library of Congress Web Archiving Lichtenstein Foundation