Archiving Auction House Websites at the Frick Art Reference Library


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This is the presentation was given by Dana Hart and Ralph Baylor to the staff, curators, and Librarians of the Frick Collection in New York City. It was the capstone of a three month long endeavor to capture archival iterations of auction house websites that the Frick Art Reference Library held subscriptions with. It resulted in creating and archiving over 160 individual websites through multiple iterations along the lifespan of the site.

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Archiving Auction House Websites at the Frick Art Reference Library

  1. 1. Archiving Auction House Websites Ralph Baylor and Dana Hart FARL Book Department Internship Project, Summer 2013
  2. 2. Project Introduction •  NYARC, FARL and web archiving •  Workflow, Mapping, Examples •  Issues and Questions
  3. 3. Web Archiving Context Gallery Invitation
  4. 4. Web Archiving Context Blog Posts
  5. 5. Auction House Websites
  6. 6. Auction House Websites… finito per sempre!!!
  7. 7. Source:
  8. 8. Work Flow •  Initial list of 221 auction houses •  Creating records by extracting metadata •  directly from sites Using constant data overlay to insure consistency o  reexamining and editing at intervals •  Examining websites to enrich records where harvesting failed
  9. 9. Mapping to MARC •  Title 245 o  Site Header •  HTML header Title •  Creator •  Menu Contents •  Date of Creation •  Seed URLs •  Archived URLs 246 1 110 & 610 505 362 (pulled from WBM) 856 40 856 41 520
  10. 10. Record in OCLC Connexion
  11. 11. Record in NYARC
  12. 12. Image of Current Site
  13. 13. Image of WayBack Interface
  14. 14. Image of an Archived Site
  15. 15. Bad Capture...
  16. 16. ...but leads to relevant info
  17. 17. Primary Issues •  Website titles were not always apparent, or were unhelpful •  •  •  •  •  When extracted from sites, 505 field contents weren't always helpful, or were distracting "Continuing Resource" proved a challenging label for now defunct websites Distinguishing between creating a record for the auction website, as opposed to the auction house, was a challenge Deciding what to list as the beginning date was difficult; we went with the WayBack Machine's earliest iteration Deciding what to include in the summary note, as well as when to include a 650 field for subject headings
  18. 18. The Big Issue Some auction houses have already closed down, changed hands, or don't have current sites. How do we create records for these websites? What if there is no current URL to include? What if they have merged with another auction house? Do we include the "new" auction house's URL as the "current" site? What if we can find no former URL?? •  •  • 
  19. 19. The Benefits of Records •  Keyword Searchable •  Creates records for auction houses that might merge with other houses or change names in the future •  Prevents "lost sites"
  20. 20. Thank you!