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Web Archives: Exploring the Digital Past: Doing Your Own Web Archiving

How to find, make use of, and create your own web archives!

Organizational Web Archiving

Web archives tailored to the needs and/or content of a specific organization come in many forms. Here we will cover the Internet Archive's Archive-It service, and touch on enterprise-class archival services.

Archive-It

archive-it

The Internet Archive's Archive-It service is a web archival solution that focuses on collecting digital culture. It is most popular with government and educational organizations, as well as institutions like libraries and museums.

Enterprise-Class Archives

These are services, usually subscription-based, which specialize in archiving the web and other digital materials associated with an organization. These solutions aim to aid with records management, compliance with transparency laws, and to help avoid litigation.

  • PageFreezer -  An enterprise-class archival service that includes internal social media archiving
  • MirrorWeb -  Comparable in many ways to PageFreezer.

Rhizome - Personal Web Archiving

Rhizome

Rhizome is an expansive open-source project associated with New York City's New Museum. It seeks to decentralize web archives, putting archival tools in the hands of a large number of individuals rather than large organizations or government agencies. They offer a variety of such tools, each suited to people with different needs and backgrounds, though generally intended for the preservation of born-digital art and culture.

Webrecorder

Webrecorder is a cloud-based service which allows you to individually select and archive webpages for long-term storage. Use requires an account. However, registration is free, and a desktop version of the software allows for anonymous and localized use. .

pywb

pywb is a powerful Python-based command-line tool which allows for the creation of personal archives. Making full use of pywb requires more programming experience compared to other options described in this guide, but for those looking to do it themselves from (close to) scratch, pywb is a powerful tool.

More about Rhizome

Web Archiving Theory and Practice